Wolves keep win streak going
HARRIS — The Carney-Nadeau volleyball team had a strength turned into a weakness here Tuesday, but the Wolves were still able to take three hard-fought sets against the Bark River-Harris Broncos, (25-20, 25-18, 25-18).
It became obvious from the first set that the Wolves (3-0) were having difficulty bringing their serves to bear as the Broncos’ (1-1) first three points came from serves landing out of bounds.
“The thing that did surprise me tonight was serving,” Wolves coach Steve Kedsch said. “We’d been serving so well this year, and tonight it was just a struggle to keep the ball (in bounds). It could’ve been (that) tonight was a little more intense (than our last two matches).”
Bark River took advantage, taking the lead twice in the first 15 points.
“We knew they had some hard hitters,” Broncos’ coach Jennifer Ives said. “We’re still a little rusty just like any other team, but I was really proud of our defense tonight. We really played hard, and I think we gave them a run for their money.”
However, a short run that finished with an ace from Carney’s Taylor Kedsch earned it the lead, and the Wolves clamped down.
The Broncos stayed within two points until a four-point run from Carney’s Haley Ernest — the longest run in the set — gave it a 19-13 advantage that it didn’t waste, and Carney’s Liana Blahnik finished it 25-20.
Carney took the reins in the second set, taking a quick 6-2 lead that they held onto for the rest of the set. The Broncos came within one, 8-7, on a point from Kassidy Roll, but an eight-point run from Carney’s Mackenzie Walcher nearly sealed the set.
Just after, Bark River sophomore Carley Varoni went on a seven-point run of her own — including four aces — to reduce its deficit to 18-15.
“Carley Varoni really stepped up,” Ives said. “I knew she had the jump serve, but she doesn’t like to pull it out unless we’re ahead. When I looked at her and said: ‘You need to jump serve. We need some points,’ she just said ‘Okay’. She reeled off serve after serve after serve.
“I think her presence as an underclassman, and the poise she showed was commendable.”
The Wolves buckled down and controlled the rest of the set despite giving BR-H opportunities with serving mistakes.
The third set was more of the same with a quick Carney lead, but the Broncos surged in the middle, taking the lead, 11-10, with a spike from Tressa Ives. Varoni, along with two more aces, parlayed the opportunity into a 14-10 advantage.
“We blocked them, so they started tipping,” Ives said. “We had to adjust to cover that, and we were able to adjust well.”
Pressured, Carney went on a 6-2 run to take the lead back 16-15. The teams traded points, but a five-point run from Ernest made it 23-16 and sealed the set and the match.
“Fundamentals and positioning on the court are the two things we have to work on,” coach Kedsch said. “We needed a match like this. This is why we play volleyball — an exciting hard-fought match by both teams. You learn a lot about your team in matches like this.
“Mackenzie did a great job tonight. She was starting to take charge in that third set, and she was flying all over the floor. Haley made some remarkable sets from positions on the court where most setters wouldn’t get the ball to a hitter.”
Taylor Kedsch finished with 19 kills,12 digs and one ace, and Ernest notched 35 assists, seven digs and one ace.
Varoni collected 15 aces, eight blocks and 30 assists.
Carney travels to Mid Peninsula Thursday, and Bark River visits Munising Tuesday.
Aces — Baumler 4, Kedsch 1, Ernest 1; kills — Kedsch 19, Blahnik 13, Baumler 4, Kirschner 3, Walcher 1; assists — Ernest 35, Sivula 2; digs — Walcher 13, Kedsch 12, Blahnik 8, Ernest 7, Baumler 6, Sivula 4, Kirschner 1.
Aces — C. Varoni 15, Berg 1; kills — Ives 2, Zawacki 1; blocks — C. Varoni 8, Roll 6; assists — C. Varoni 30, Zawacki 3, Ives 1.