LAKE LINDEN - Lake Linden-Hubbell volleyball coach Karen Keranen has seen the Calumet volleyball team three times this season, and countless times over her career.
She had never seen them like this.
The Copper Kings came our firing from all angles Thursday night, and given their wealth of talent and depth, it was quite a show to see. After defeating the Lakes 3-1 in their last meeting up in Calumet, the Kings quickly determined the hosts weren't taking a set off them Thursday night with a dominant performance in all stages of the game.
Calumet’s Catherine Frantti serves during the Copper Kings’ 3-0 win at Lake Linden-Hubbell Thursday. (DMG photo by Michael Bleach)
Calumet won 3-0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-19), but it was the control of the tempo and flow, rather than the final numbers, the impressed most.
"Man they were on fire tonight," Keranen said. "That is the best I have seen them play. They were like a well-oiled machine. My little block on the outside wasn't going to do anything even if we placed it perfectly. It just wasn't going to happen for us tonight.
"Wow. That is all I can say."
The array of different attackers shines through in the final statistics for Calumet.
Four different players - Alisa Storm, Carissa Pavolich, Lexie Rowe and Loretta Anderson - finished with six kills for Calumet as setter Terilynne Budreau effectively (19 assists) spread the wealth.
The Kings finished with 30 kills on 63 attempts against just nine errors, good for an excellent .333 hitting percentage.
"Terilynne does a great job of spreading the ball around, using all our options," Calumet coach Lisa Twardzik said. "That is one of the things I really like about our team, you have four or five girls getting five or six kills a night, not one finishing with 21. It definitely makes us hard to prepare for."
Calumet blitzed the Lakes with a nine-point run near the start of the first set, a 7-point run and six-point burst in the second set and finished the match with a six-point stretch in the middle of the third set to close the door in under an hour.
The cushion gave Twardzik some freedom to vary her offense in preparation for the upcoming postseason.
"We are fine-tuning now," Twardzik said. "Just trying to make sure all the little things are in place. That is what I love about coaching this team though, is these girls are so motivated, so focused that they get after it themselves."
That fine-tuning could be seen in the service game, where the Copper Kings totaled 14 aces - Catherine Frantti led the way with five - with exquisite court placement.
"They don't always hit them hard, but they pick a target and hit the target," Keranen said. "We were slow on our feet tonight to react to that."