Dollar Bay falls to Hancock at home

Jamie Glenn/Daily Mining Gazette Hancock’s Karena Holmstrom (4) watches her hit sail over the net during a match against Dollar Bay-Tamarack City Tuesday.

DOLLAR BAY — On Tuesday, the Dollar Bay-Tamarack City Blue Bolts fell to the Hancock Bulldogs at home. A short bench and a lot of late passes made the opening set a quick one, 7-25. The hosts were quicker on the serve receive in the second set but still fell short, 11-25. With the final set being closer, 25-17, Hancock was still able to get the win, despite Dollar Bay capitalizing on a few short serves and unanswered back row hits.

It just was not enough to match what the Bulldogs were able to do.

Hancock coach Sarah Grieger was happy to see how the Bulldogs performed after falling to Lake Linden-Hubbell at home on Thursday.

“In our last game, we were off a little bit in our offense,” she said. “Tonight, I think they really picked it up and were playing aggressively (by) chasing after all the balls and really working hard to set up all the hitters.”

Using a strong 10-point opening set run from Bulldogs senior Maddie Johnson, the visitors had strong momentum. Grieger identified Johnson’s early run as making a difference in that first set.

“She’s got really good placement with her serve,” Grieger said. “She’s very strategic with her serve. It really pays off (and) you can tell in a game like this.”

With the Bulldogs still being early in their season, Grieger hopes that her team can use the momentum from Tuesday’s win to help carry the Bulldogs into their next game, which will be back at the friendly confines of the Hancock Gym against Jeffers Thursday.

“Everybody got a lot of playing time tonight, so it was really nice to get that court time and that game time.” said Grieger. “Moving forward, I just hope that the girls take this experience and build off of it (by) knowing that they can be aggressive on the court and don’t have to play scared.”

Martha Storm, Dollar Bay’s head coach, was happy with how her team played despite having low numbers this year.

“Well, this year we’re a little bit short on girls,” Storm said. “We have seven on varsity and six on junior varsity, but we’ve been growing a lot (by) working on our passing and our serve receive. I saw a lot of progress tonight.

“(We still have) some things we need to work on, but I was very impressed and happy with how the girls played.”

Dollar Bay is going through a transitional period after losing five players between last season and this year. With a new group of young players learning the speed of varsity volleyball, Storm wants to instill a confidence in her team that will carry them through the season.

“When it’s rally scoring like that, and you miss a serve and (the other team) gets a point, that’s costly for the team,” she said, “(both in) our serving, (and) just our confidence in the game.

“We have a lot of young players. (It’s about) building up that confidence, (letting them know) that they can play varsity and they are good enough.”