Braves rally held off by Hematites
GLADSTONE — The Ishpeming Hematites took a 3-1 win back home with them Tuesday night after defeating the Gladstone Braves (25-21, 25-17, 20-25, 25-14) in Gladstone.
“It feels really good,” Hematites coach Katt Beerling said about the win. “We’ve had a rocky start, especially with the talent that we have. We played here during (The Rock Invitational) Saturday. We worked out a lot of kinks and got a good rhythm.
“I think that this game was a good turning point for us. We’re ready to go forward from this.”
Ishpeming went up — and controlled — the majority of the first two sets to win 25-21 and 25-17, though the Braves were able to stay within striking distance for much of both.
In set three, it was the opposite story as the Braves held the advantage — at one point by 10 points, 20-10 — and took the win 25-20.
Beerling commented that the third set was a result of two main things; letting their guard down and the Braves’ hunger to win at home.
“We were getting comfortable I think, and I think that we came out a little too set to take it in three,” she said. “And (the Braves) showed up. I mean, it’s their home court. They want to win just as much as we do. I think we let our guard down a little bit too much, but then we came back ready to go in that fourth set, and I’m really proud of them for that.”
The Hematites took set four 25-14 to clinch the win.
Ishpeming had solid all-around play, said Beerling, to take the win.
Up front, Olivia Corp was strong at the net, supported by the outsides while the back was performing well with Hannah Deloughary and Cora Nicholas.
Gladstone coach Averi Kanyuh said the Braves will look to a few areas to improve over the next week before taking on Escanaba.
“I think we struggled defensively,” Kanyuh said. “We definitely need to work on passing, and our tip coverage is where we lacked.”
With a few girls out, the Braves had to shuffle things around with positions. Kanyuh noted Riley Gerow and Kennedy Sanville as two players who performed well under the circumstances.
“(Riley) played really well, and then Kennedy also stepped up for me,” she said. “We had to play some different positions tonight because we got a couple girls that are out.”
Prior to the start of the night’s action, the Braves presented a check to the U.P. Honor Flight for $400.
During the Rock Invitational Tournament Saturday, the Gladstone team held a bake sale and decided the proceeds should go to the Honor Flight.
Scott Knauf from the Honor Flight was in attendance to accept the donation.
“Because it was 9/11, we wanted to donate to a cause for the veterans, and we came up with something local,” said Kanyuh. “So, we went with the U.P. Honor Flight.”
Both teams take about a week’s break from competition.
After the time off, the Braves are thrown into a rivalry match against the Escanaba Eskymos Sept. 21 while the Hematites hit the road again to take on Manistique the same day.