CALUMET - Five aces, two kills and two blocks from the first nine points made for a devastating assault by the Calumet Copper Kings Tuesday.
Visiting Hancock got up off the canvas eventually, but couldn't keep the hosts from sweeping the WestPAC match and their league slate, 3-0 (25-5, 25-20, 25-20).
"That was a great start. The girls were fired up and ready to go," Calumet coach Lisa Twardzik said.
Members of the Calumet volleyball team clap and sing along with the Calumet High School fight song with help of their fellow students after the Copper Kings swept Hancock 3-0 in their final home match of the season Tuesday in Calumet. (DMG photo by Brandon Veale)
Loretta Anderson, one of Calumet's seniors playing on their home court for the last time, served the run. The Kings opened the match by killing a Hancock overpass, then grabbed another block kill for 2-0.
Anderson served aces on the next three balls, followed by kills from Carissa Pavolich and Pam Torola, then two more kills.
Hancock finally pulled out of its tailspin when setter Nicole Anderson put one off the tape, over and down.
The Bulldogs got as close as 11-4 before Calumet ran away with it again, running off 10 in a row, Torola serving two more aces. The Kings finished it off in just four rotations with another ace, this time from senior Megan Yeo.
Hancock had its first lead, 1-0, in the second set, and although it was followed by five Calumet points, the Bulldogs pulled even in the next rotation and remained competitive the rest of the night.
They led 20-17 late in the set, but the Kings went on another run, served by Yeo. Calumet rattled off eight in a row with Anderson burying an overpass on set point.
As disappointed as Hancock coach Mary Kaminski was with the start, she recognized her team's recovery.
"This is what we're trying to become, we need to be able to play and be focused, and they knew that going into the second set and they settled down a little bit and had our chances, and kind of let it slip away," she said.
The third was close as well, though Calumet took the lead for good at 12-10 on a five-point run from Anderson's serve.
A second five-point run, which included an ace from senior Morgan Peters and two kills from Lexie Rowe and one apiece from Alisa Storm and Terilynne Budreau pushed it to 18-12.
Anderson finished it off with two more aces for an impressive match total of eight, half of Calumet's total.
Calumet had a diverse night offensively, with Twardzik saying all of her primary attackers got between nine and 15 sets from Budreau.
Rowe ended up with nine kills to lead Calumet, while Torola and Anderson had seven apiece. But the kills didn't come easily.
"For one, they're well-coached and they set their block up nicely. Their defense is in good position to get the ball," Twardzik said.
Calumet's defense was led by Yeo's 15 digs. Catherine Frantti had nine and Rowe eight. Budreau finished with 29 assists.
"I'm just very proud of the girls. It's a long season and it's a commitment. It makes it all worth it to sweep the WestPAC, but there's a lot more we want to accomplish, so we're going to continue to press," Twardzik said.
The Kings carry a 34-9 record into Class C district play at L'Anse, where they will play Chassell in the late match of a 6 p.m. doubleheader next Tuesday.
Hancock got five kills apiece from Amanda Manninen and Shannon Anderson. Shannon Anderson also led the Bulldog defense with 11 digs and Nicole Anderson had 16 assists. Claire Meyer helped Hancock's block with a solo block and two block assists.
Hancock plays L'Anse in the first match of the district doubleheader Tuesday.
Kaminski said she was pleased with her team's receptiveness to her teaching and their growth.
"They get it, now we need to walk the walk, so to speak," she said.