Hietela, Chassell get 1st victory of season

CHASSELL – Two rookie volleyball coaches looking for their first victory got together Thursday night in Chassell.

But it was Chassell High skipper Kaitlyn Hietala who claimed that distinction as her team scored a 3-1 win over Dollar Bay and its first-year coach Augustine Brutus.

“It feels good to get that first one under our belts,” Hietala said after the Panthers 25-15, 23-25, 25-15, 25-15 win. “I would have liked to have seen some of the stuff that happened tonight in our first two matches. But I think this will give us some momentum for next week,”

After Chassell carved out a opening set victory, the Blue Bolts bounced back behind Cami Daavettila and Emma Stout to win the second set.

“I thought we played pretty well in the second set,” Brutus commented. “They kind of wore us out with their depth and size.”

Chassell’s twin towers of Sophia Huhta and Sydney Danison provided the length. Both stand 6-foot-1.

But it was the overall play of senior Julia Nordstrom that provided the difference.

“Julia is our leader and she does a lot of good things,” Hietala noted. “You can tell she’s been playing for awhile.”

The Panthers grabbed an early leads in the third and fourth sets and more or less coasted home.

Nordstrom had nine kills, four digs and four aces to show the way for the Blue and Gold. Huhta contributed four kills and four blocks, Danison had two blocks and two kills and Milly Alllen was good for four digs.

Brutus, who played four seasons at Finlandia University, feels her team will improve with time.

“The girls are working hard and they have a good attitude,” she said. “It will take some time.”

Hietala says her team faces two tough matches next week at Baraga on Tuesday and at Calumet on Thursday.

“We’ll find a lot about ourselves in those matches,” she said.