Hibbing Daily Tribune
HIBBING — Last year, it took the Hibbing High School volleyball team until the middle of September to pick up their first win.
The Bluejackets are already ahead of schedule this season.
Hibbing used a solid defensive game, got some big-time hits and took advantage of a lot of Deer River unforced errors en route to a 3-0, 25-17, 25-15, 25-12 victory over the Warriors Thursday at the Lincoln Elementary School Gymnasium.
It’s only one win, but it sure was nice to get it out of the way sooner rather than later.
“This feels good,” Hibbing coach Sarah McGough said. “They needed it just build some confidence from here and moving forward. You always have those first-game jitters so there were some scratchy plays, but they cleaned up by the end.”
If anyone on the team knows how that felt, it was junior Haley Hawkinson. She was relieved to get that first victory out of the way.
“It feels great getting that first win over right,” Hawkinson said. “Last year was frustrating because I knew we could beat the teams that we were playing, but we weren’t competing and finishing the games.”
This year, according to Hawkinson, there’s a new mentality on this team.
“That’s already way better than it was last year,” Hawkinson said. “This group of girls are excited to be here. We’re ready this year.”
On the court, Hibbing pulled it off with a solid defense. Justine Orazem and Bella Scaia kept balls alive, so the Bluejackets could run an offensive attack.
“Justine and Bella were all over the court, reading the balls and reading the tips,” McGough said. “Credit to Deer River. They placed it, but we were one step ahead there. It gets frustrating.
“Even when it happens to us, you want to hit, you want to hit, you want to hit, but you have to change what you’re doing. You have to change the whole process.”
Game one was the closest of the three sets, but thanks to four kills by Skalsky and three from Orazem, the Bluejackets pulled it for a 1-0 lead.
“You could tell the nerves were getting to them,” McGough said. “They were unsure of themselves. They didn’t want to swing at the ball. They got hesitant and afraid, but in the end, they persevered through it.”
Hawkinson agreed that everyone had some butterflies before that game.
“As soon as the ball was served, all of the nerves went away, and we started playing,” Hawkinson said.
Hibbing took a 12-point lead in game two and looked to be cruising, but Deer River would pull within five three times.
The Bluejackets got three kills and a block from Bailey Broker to take that 2-0 lead.
“That was a game of ups-and-downs,” McGough said. “We were definitely on the upside until it was 17-9, then we let them right back in it with our errors. We were forcing our errors.”
Hibbing got a little complacent, according to Hawkinson.
“Maybe it was getting into our heads that we were getting up by a lot, so we decided to ease it up instead of finishing the game,” Hawkinson said.
If that was the case, McGough made sure they wouldn’t do that again with her talk between the second and third games.
Hibbing heeded her words, and in game three, the Bluejackets pulled away for the 13-point win.
“We realized during set two, when they came back, that we couldn’t let up, or they would get back into it,” Hawkinson said.
This time, the Bluejackets put the pedal to the metal and got the game over quickly.
“We talked about that if we were up and ahead, that we continue that ride,” McGough said. “We don’t let them back into the game, and we closed it out.”
Unofficially, Skalsky had seven kills, Hawkinson four, Broker three and Orazem five. Scaia had 12 digs and Skalsky eight. Zoe Kriske had 17 assists, and Kylee Huusko had four aces.
GRAND RAPIDS — The Hibbing High School girls tennis team dropped a pair of matches Thursday at the Robert J. Elkington Middle School Courts.
In match one, the Bluejackets fell to Blaine by the score of 4-3.
The Bengals got singles wins from Olivia Troy, Yaa Oduro and Brooke Freeland.
Megan Bussey won the lone singles match for Hibbing, beating Anna Carlson 6-4, 6-2.
In doubles, Allie Bussey and Maddie Rewertz beat Maria Merck and Mary Shogren 6-0, 6-3; and Mercedes Furin and Claire Rewertz beat Sara McGrath and Evelyn Schelbe 2-6, 6-4, 10-4.
Clare Merck and Emma Miller won the third singles match for Blaine.
In match two, the Bluejackets lost to Grand Rapids/Greenway 4-3.
Eva Kangas, Jordan Troumbly and Emily Hill won singles matches for the Lightning. Carline Ahcan and Nicole Ramirez won the lone doubles match.
Megan Bussey beat Taryn Hamling 6-3, 6-4 in the Bluejackets lone singles win.
In doubles, Allie Bussey and Maddie Rewertz beat Kalei Dowell and Courtney Brandt 6-2. 6-0; and Maggie Zieske and Furin downed Hannah Lafrenier and Halley Lafrenier 7-5, 2-6, 11-9.
Blaine 4, Hibbing 3
Singles: No. 1 — Olivia Troy, B, def. Abigail Sullivan, 6-4, 6-3; No. 2 — Yaa Oduro, B, def. Annika Lundell, 6-0, 6-2; No. 3 — Brooke Freeland, B, def. Kasey Jo Renskers, 6-3, 6-3; No. 4 — Megan Bussey, H, def. Anna Carlson, 6-4, 6-2.
Doubles: No. 1 — Allie Bussey-Maddie Rewertz, H, def. Maria Merck-Mary Shogren, 6-0, 6-3; No. 2 — Mercedes Furin-Claire Rewertz, H, def. Sara McGrath-Evelyn Schelbe, 2-6, 6-4, 10-4; No. 3 — Clare Merck-Emma Miller, B, def. Alayna Miller-Maggie Zieske, 6-4, 7-5.
Grand Rapids/Greenway 4, Hibbing 3
Singles: No. 1 — Eva Kangas, GRG, def. Sullivan, 6-2, 6-2; No. 2 — Jordan Troumbly, GRG, def. Lundell, 6-0, 6-2; No. 3 — Emily Hill, GRG, def. Claire Rewertz, 6-0, 6-1; No. 4 — Megan Bussey, H, def. Taryn Hamling, 6-3, 6-4.
Doubles: No. 1 — Allie Bussey-Maddie Rewertz, H, def. Kalei Dowell-Courtney Brandt, 6-2, 6-0; No. 2 — Carline Ahcan-Nicole Ramirez, GRG, def. Renskers-Miller, 6-1, 6-2; No. 3 —. Zieske-Furin, H, def. Hannah Lafrenier-Hailey Lafrenier, 7-5, 2-6, 11-9.
EVELETH — Eveleth-Gilbert netted wins by Katelyn Torrel and Lydia Thursday against Bemidji, but the Lumberjacks came away with the shortened 4-2 victory.
Torrel had a solid match at No. 2 singles as she defeated Tatum Offerdahl in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1.
Delich also had a good match as she squeaked by Savannah Haugen, 6-5, 6-3.
The Golden Bears dropped the third singles match as Gianna Odella put up a battle before eventually falling, 3-6, 6-2, 8-10. In doubles, E-G and lost all three matches on their home court.
Eveleth-Gilbert travels to play in the Pine City quadrangular today.
Bemidji 4, Eveleth-Gilbert 2
Singles: No. 1 — Lydia Delich, E-G, def. Savannah Haugen, B, 6-5, 6-3; No. 2 — Katelyn Torrel, E-G, def. Tatum Offerdahl, B, 6-3, 6-1; No. 3 — Aftyn Schmidt, B, def. Gianna Odella, E-G, 6-3, 2-6, 10-8.
Doubles: No. 1 — Lexi Leitner - Chloe Hasbargen, B, def. McKenna Edstrom - Julia Lindseth, E-G, 6-0, 6-1; No. 2 — Hannah Nelson - Nettie Kimble, B, def. Kada Ceglar - Emma Ziegler, E-G, 6-0, 6-2; No. 3 — Bethany Chatterton - Paige Anderson, B, def. Mylee Young - Hanna Beldo, E-G, 6-4, 6-2.