Ontonagon’s rally comes up short against Bessemer

Jason Juno/Daily Globe Ontonagon's Fahren Kolpack (3) and Bessemer's Caitlyn Lynch meet at the net Tuesday at the House of Noise in Bessemer.   

BESSEMER — Bessemer sweated out a five-game win over Ontonagon on a hot Tuesday night in the House of Noise.

The Speedgirls won the first two games 25-23, 25-20, but thoughts of a sweep went away in a hurry as Ontonagon won the next game 25-8 and then took Game 4 25-16. Bessemer pulled out the fifth-game win 15-7.

Bessemer coach Shelly Mettler was focused on the third and fourth games afterward on a night the Speedgirls had a chance to make quick work of the Gladiators.

“It was two completely different teams,” she said. “I think a big part was focus. It just seemed like they lost their focus.

“(Ontonagon) took the momentum and ran with it. We got comfortable with two wins. I think they thought, ‘This one’s going to be easy.’ Then the momentum goes to that side, we start going down, they start going up. Then look what happens.”

Not much went right.

“The serving was a little bit off, everything they did was off for the most part in those games, passing, setting, hitting,” Mettler said. “Instead of reacting, they were thinking about it too much.”

Ontonagon fell short of completing the victory as Bessemer pulled ahead 10-4 in the final game and pulled away.

“They didn’t give up, but they got a couple points down and they just couldn’t pull it back in,” Ontonagon coach Becky Pantti said. 

She credited strong serving that jumpstarted their comeback effort in Games 3-4.

“I think with the crowd being into it helped our girls,” Pantti said.

Caitlyn Lynch led Bessemer with 12 kills and four blocks. Hailey Marchello had three kills.  

Kelsey Kitto had a team-best 10 aces and Marchello had two. Ontonagon didn’t keep stats.

Bessemer hosts Watersmeet Monday. Ontonagon goes to Hancock on Saturday.