Esky undermined by Miners

Justin St. Ours | Daily Press Escanaba’s Mari Bink (left) and Grayson LaMarche (22) jump to block a shot from Negaunee’s Tessa Standerford (bottom left) Tuesday in Escanaba.

ESCANABA — The Negaunee Miners made things hard for Escanaba here Tuesday night as they handed the Eskymos a 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-16) volleyball loss.

Negaunee senior middle hitter Natalie Bell collected four kills, and classmate Josie Thomson recorded five service aces in this non-conference match.

“I’m happy with our team,” said Negaunee coach Krista Squires. “The girls care about each other and the sport. We have nine seniors on this team. They were following a pretty good group of seniors last year and didn’t get a lot of experience, but now, they’re taking advantage every opportunity they can.”

The left-hand serving Thomson hit seven straight points in the second set, helping the Miners gain a 12-6 lead.

Following a time-out, the Eskymos got a sideout on a service error but were unable to get any closer.

“We’re a hard-hitting team, but we didn’t have that tonight and played somebody else’s game,” said Esky coach Adam Lambert. “Being down three players didn’t help, although Negaunee deserves all the credit. They came here ready to win, and we had things mixed up.”

Esky played without senior Becky Barron, who was feeling under the weather, and two other players were out with injuries.

The Eskymos were within 10-7 in the third set, then committed a hitting and passing error to go down by five points.

Bell then hit an ace, and senior Mara Sorensen recorded a kill to put the Miners up 14-7.

Esky was still within 15-9 prior to back-to-back four-hit violations and a passing error, enabling Negaunee to gain an insurmountable 18-9 advantage.

“We hadn’t played Escanaba yet, but we were ready to battle,” said Squires. “Overall, I’m very proud of how the girls played.”

The first set was tied at 22 before a kill by senior setter Summer Dudo sent the Miners ahead to stay. Dudo finished with eight assists.

Esky trailed 22-16 after a passing miscue before rallying to tie the score.

The Eskymos led 12-11 following a Miners’ service error.

Negaunee tied the score on a hitting miscue, and an ace by Dudo sent the Miners ahead for good at 13-12.

Stalboerger led the Eskymos with 10 kills. Junior Mari Bink tallied six kills, four assists and eight digs. Sophomore setter Mara Liss collected eight assists and senior Abigail Rexford had eight digs.

The Eskymos also dropped the jayvee match in two sets but won the freshman match in two.

They travel to Manistique Thursday. The Miners host Houghton Thursday.

Negaunee — Thomson (five aces), Bell (two aces, four kills); Sorensen (two aces, two kills); Carlson (two kills).

Escanaba — Stalboerger (one ace, 10 kills, six digs); Bink (six kills, four assists, eight digs); Whitson (one kill); Mott (one kill); Rexford (eight digs).


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