Houghton’s team effort leads to sweep over LL-H

Paul Peterson photo Houghton's Daitlyn Markham goes up to challenge a Lake Linden-Hubbell hit from Mariah Wilmer during Tuesday's match in Houghton. HHS took the match in three sets.

HOUGHTON — Lake Linden-Hubbell and Houghton, two of the finest volleyball programs in the area, got together Tuesday evening for a match.

When all the tallying was done, the Gremlins walked away with a well-played three-set (25-21, 25-22, 25-19) victory.

HHS coach John Christianson said playing the Lakes is always a test.

“They (Lakes) play great defense all the time,” Christianson noted. “They keep the ball in play and make you play defense. They’ve got a solid program.”

But the Gremlins, even without graduated all-conference standout Sloane Zenner, had enough balance.

“I thought we played well as a team tonight,” Christianson commented. “We didn’t have anyone who dominated the stats sheet, but we had a lot players who contributed.”

Senior Madi Dillinger may have hurt the Lakes the most.

“Madi (Dillinger) did a great job of running forward to pass the ball and get it to our setters faster,” Christianson said.

In the tight first and second sets, Dillinger and Harlee Froberg came up with pivotal aces to help their team pull away late.

“Houghton doesn’t have the firepower of last year’s team,” LL coach Maureen Schick said, “But they have players who have been in the program a long time. Players like Dillinger, (Kendra) Monette and (Harlee) Froberg.

In some ways, we did stick with them. The biggest issue I have is that we don’t have any mean players. By that I mean we need to have players willing to step up, take the ball and do something with it.”

The two teams were knotted at 14-14 in the opening set before Houghton’s seniors stepped up and ran off eight straight points for a 22-14 lead.

The same thing happened in the second set when the eventual winners broke from a 15-all stalemate.

“Houghton was able to pick up some spots when we got sloppy, and we were able to do it to them, too,” Schick said. “They’re a good team, they know to play.”

For Houghton, Mackenzie Klein had a steady night with 12 assists, three digs and three kills.

Dillinger also impressed with three aces and nine digs; Froberg counted five aces and 5 assists; Jada Markham was strong at the net and had three aces; Frankie Stukel contributed seven digs and Kendra Monette six digs.

Houghton, now 12-5-4, will go to Pulaski, Wis. this weekend. HHS has yet to play a West-PAC match this season.

The Lakes 8-2-2 on the year, host Wakefield-Marenisco Thursday.

Maija Codere recorded seven kills for LL-H, while Joslynn Perala had 13 digs and Mackenzie LePage had 11 digs.