CHASSELL - For the Calumet volleyball team, it was a warm-up act for a tough tournament weekend in Wisconsin. For Chassell, it set the bar for what top volleyball can look like.
Both teams took away lessons from the Copper Kings 3-0 (25-10, 25-19, 25-10) victory over the Panthers in Chassell Thursday.
"We have got to continue to press on and work hard every game," Calumet coach Lisa Twardzik said. "Chassell put up a good fight in set two, and we cannot just let down our guard."
Calumet libero Terra Erkkila passes a serve in the third set of Thursday’s 3-0 win over Chassell Thursday. Erkkila ended the game with 10 digs to lead the team. (DMG photo by Michael Bleach)
"It can be tough losing (by that margin), but it is good for our team because of the level of competition, and building to this level is what we are all about," Chassell coach Gael Filpus said. "Going against a powerhouse like Calumet, they can see what they can be if they play right."
Calumet controlled the match from the first swing on the ball.
Several runs built on aces helped build the 25-10 first set win and the third set was put away in similar fashion.
Conversely, Chassell gave away free points on service errors too many times to ever build momentum.
"We have some strong servers. Kayleen (Anderson), Ellen (Twardzik) and Molly (Loukus), they do a great job," Twardzik said. "I think in a lot of the rotations they generate multiple aces and that leads to runs."
And when the ball was in play, the Calumet attack was too varied and too deep for Chassell to muster an effective defense.
Confusion in the Panthers back row did not help either, as several in-between balls fell for points that Filpus believes would have been dug if her team had been communicating properly.
"The girls who are normally more aggressive were not really calling the ball," Filpus said.
"I don't really know what was going on, but we can't have second guessing in that area. I would rather have two people trying to pass than no one."
Five different Copper Kings ended the game with five or more kills - led by Ellen Twardzik and Lexie Rowe with eight apiece - and coach Twardzik was able to get everyone off her bench some valuable playing time to prepare for a tournament in Ashwaubenon, Wis., Saturday.
Libero Terra Erkkila initiated the attack with accurate passing and led the team with 10 digs. Twardzik and Anderson eached chipped in five aces to pace the dangerous serving game.
"Our team is big but we are also deep," Twardzik said. "I am proud of the girls who went in and don't see the court a lot. They certainly performed.
"It is always good to see what players can do. Who knows who is going to have an on night and who is going to have an off night. It is nice to be confident in those who sub in.
"I learned early that you need to spread your offense, otherwise you are very easily defended."