NYM Volleyball: Net play key as Eagles split matches
By John George firstname.lastname@example.org After losing to Verndale in their own tournament on Sept. 6 without middle hitter Hannah Rutten, New York Mills got their revenge, with Rutten and a host of front line hitters, with a 3-1 win over the Pirates Thursda...
By John George
After losing to Verndale in their own tournament on Sept. 6 without middle hitter Hannah Rutten, New York Mills got their revenge, with Rutten and a host of front line hitters, with a 3-1 win over the Pirates Thursday night.
Led by a relentless attack at the net by Hannah Rutten and Lauren Johnson, the Eagles cruised to wins in the first two games, 25-16 and 25-9.
The Pirates were able to put things together for an exciting game three. The two teams were even at 15-15 until Rutten, the Eagles middle hitter, made a statement by blasting a kill that deflected into the home team's bleachers to give NY Mills a one-point lead.
The Eagles were up by two, 20-18, but the Verndale squad didn't back down and battled back to eventually tie the game at 24-24. The Eagles took the next point to lead 25-24 but dropped the next three to lose game, 25-27.
In game four, Molly Wallgren served the Eagles to a 10-5 lead and the Mills later increased the lead to 18-8 on a Lauren Rud service ace. The Eagles increased their lead to 20-9 on a kill by Bobbi Smith kill, before closing out the game and match, 25-14.
The Eagles recorded 41 kills, 15 from Rutten, and dominated at the net. Bobbi Smith added nine kills and three blocks, while Kimberlee Erickson led the team with four blocks to go with three kills.
Ten different girls has at least one kills for NY?Mills.
Morgan Kahilainen had a nice night with 13 digs and 23 set assists. Lauren Rud added nine digs, seven assists and four service aces.
Beaten by the Battlers
Mills traveled to Battle Lake Monday and were handed a 3-1 loss (25-20, 18-25, 25-21, 25-18).
The Battlers (2-8) won last year's meeting, 3-0.
The Lady Eagles weren't as strong at the net as in their previous game, collecting just 17 kills as a team.
"We have never played well on Monday nights," head coach Amy Koskela said. "That's no excuse, though. We beat ourselves.
"Battle Lake showed up ready to play, while we were sluggish," Koskela continued. "Hopefully we can turn that around before Thursday's conference match-up with Sebeka."
The Lady Eagles will host Sebeka at the Sports Center tonight (Sept. 18) at 7:30 p.m.
Sebeka (7-2, 1-0 Park Region) returns five starter's from last year's conference championship team, including Park Region Defensive Player of the Year, Bridget Martini and top setter, Adrienne Nelson (both juniors).
The Trojan's won last year's meeting, 3-1 in Sebeka.
On Sept. 20, New York Mills will play in the Bagley Tournament. Teams at the tournament include: Bagley, NY?Mills, Laporte, Carlton, Clearbrook-Gonvik, East Grand Forks, Fosston, Warroad and Red Lake Falls. The Eagles will begin pool play against C-G at 9 a.m., followed by a 10:15 a.m. game against EGF.
Mills will return home to the Sports Center on Sept. 23 to host Wadena-Deer Creek. The Wolverines, one of the top teams in Section 8AA, are led by outside hitter Brigetta Berg, who was All-State honorable mention last year.
W-DC won last year in Wadena, 3-0.
Thursday, September 11
New York Mills 3, Verndale 1
(25-16, 25-9, 25-27, 25-14)
Eagles--(Kills-Digs-Blocks)--Morgan Kahilainen (1-13-0), Kimberlee Erickson (3-7-4), Betsy Bernu (2-4-0), Katie Schik (1-1-1), Bobbi Smith (9-1-3), Hannah Rutten (15-7-2), Nicole Nebosis (0-11-0), RaeAnna Salo (0-9-0), Betsy Helmeke (5-9-0), Molly Wallgren (0-0-0), Alicia Boe (2-1-0), Lauren Johnson (2-8-1)
Assists--Kahilainen 23, Rud 7, Erickson 1.
Aces--Rud 4, Wallgren 2, Salo 1, Helmeke 1, Johnson 1.
Monday, September 15
Battle Lake 3, New York Mills 1
(25-20, 18-25, 25-21, 25-18)
Eagles--(Kills-Digs-Blocks)--Kahilainen (0-9-2), Erickson (1-4-4), Schik (1-4-1), Smith (1-9-8), Rutten (5-9-7), Nebosis (1-6-0), Rud (0-8-1), Salo (0-4-0), Helmeke (3-9-2), Boe (0-5-0), Johnson (5-9-0).
Assists--Kahilainen 8, Erickson 3, Rud 3.
Aces--Kahilainen 2, Helmeke 2, Boe 2, Johnson 2, Wallgren 1, Bernu 1.
Park Region Conf. All
Bertha-Hewitt 2-0 7-2
Menahga 2-0 5-7-1
Sebeka 1-0 8-2
New York Mills 1-1 6-4-1
Henning 1-1 3-7
Verndale 0-3 5-6
Pillager 0-2 2-9