Esky stays unbeaten

ESCANABA — Chalk up another Great Northern Conference volleyball victory for the Escanaba Eskymos.

The Eskymos moved to 6-0 in the league here Thursday night in a 3-0 (25-18, 25-13, 25-19) triumph over the Marquette Redettes.

“This is a big win for us,” said Esky coach Adam Lambert. “The girls really wanted this one. We hadn’t beaten Marquette in five years. I can’t say enough. We were working on some things and hit some things.”

The Eskymos made their presence known at the net where senior Katelyn Stalboerger collected 13 kills. Sophomore Grayson LaMarche hit eight, and junior Aleaha Lambert, who missed last season due to a torn ACL, added a career-high seven.

“This was a real good match for me,” Aleaha said. “I’m just in the process of getting past last year’s injury and gaining confidence. I’m excited to be back on the court and playing with my friends.”

Stalboerger secured the decision with a kill, set up on a pass from Carney Salo, who tallied 13 assists. Mari Bink added 12.

Esky trailed 17-16 in the third set before Lambert tipped the ball over the net for a kill and sideout.

Marquette was still within 19-18 after gaining a sideout of its own.

A kill by Kendra Boosamra gave the Eskymos a kill for an additional sideout and a two-point lead.

The Redettes were within 22-19 following a block by senior Emma Sanderson-Torres before the Eskymos closed out the finale.

“We have a team with very little varsity experience,” said Marquette coach Ann Crandell-Williams. “I’m very proud of the effort. Stalboerger can be hard to stop. It’s kind of a mental game. We working on consistency. We’ll have flashes of brilliance. Then, sometimes, we’ll go into a funk for about 5-6 points. They have a few more veterans on their team than we do.”

Esky led 13-10 in the third before Marquette went ahead 14-13 on a defensive miscue.

“Personally, I was a little nervous when it got close in the third set,” said coach Lambert. “They didn’t go into a shell. They kept going and going. They came ready to play.”

Esky, behind Lambert’s eight-point service run, gained a 17-5 advantage in the second set. LaMarche provided back-to-back kills for the Eskymos, who cashed in on several miscues during that run.

The Eskymos later gained a 21-11 cushion on a Redettes’ hitting miscue.

A kill by senior Cora Anderson trimmed Marquette’s deficit to eight points before Esky scored the last four points in that set.

“Cora and Jessica (Gooch) have been consistently strong this year,” said Crandell-Williams. “The girls played hard all night. It was good volleyball both ways.”

Marquette was within 12-10 following a kill by senior Carter Granger in the opener.

Esky then extended its lead to 16-10 on a block by Lambert.

The Redettes trimmed their deficit to 19-15 on a service ace by senior Hailey Ridolphi, but the Eskymos didn’t allow them to get any closer.

Esky’s Harlee Coolman served for five aces and recorded six digs. Boosamra collected 13 digs Salo added six.

The Esky freshman and Marquette JVs each won in three sets.

Both teams resume in today’s Redette Rumble in Marquette.

Escanaba — Coolman (five aces, two kills, six digs); Salo (two aces, 13 assists, six digs); Stalboerger (one ace, 13 kills, two digs); Lambert (one ace, seven kills, four digs); Bink (one ace, four kills, 12 assists, one dig); LaMarche (eight kills, two digs); Boosamra (two kills, 13 digs).


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