Copper Kings continue to find ways to win

Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette Copper Kings Elissa Djerf pushes the ball over the net on Thursday in a match against the Westwood Patriots.

CALUMET — The Calumet Copper Kings volleyball team just keeps on winning and winning big. On Thursday, they defeated a young Westwood Patriots squad, 25-9, 25-9 and 25-23.

“I loved it as the girls came out on fire,” said Calumet coach Matt Laho. “We are starting to advance to the next step of play where we are finding ways to make it difficult for our opponent. That means we are trying to anticipate a block (and) hitting the ball to the holes on the floor. Tonight was an example of that.”

In the first two sets the Copper Kings dominate from the get go. They were led by senior Celia Kiilunen, who had 10 kills on 12 attempts.

“She was just amazing,” said Laho.

Kiilunen was followed by Molly Larson, who put down five kills on 10 attempts.

Westwood played on defense most of those two sets just trying to return to return all of the serves or at least dig out big Calumet swings. Calumet won a majority of their points with offensive plays as opposed to defensive errors in in these first two sets.

Ava Anderson once again led the Copper Kings in digs with 21. Elissa Djerf had the longest service run of the night with eight to start off the second set.

“Momentum is the key,” said Westwood’s volleyball coach Milton Braga. “I could tell my girls were nervous those first two sets. Calumet is a good team and they got intimidated. “

In the third set, however, the Patriots did take control and even the lead at 17-15.

“When they push themselves, they can play well,” Braga said. “I was proud of them for that set.”

However the Patriots could not hang on as they put one too many in the net or out of bounds before falling behind for good and losing the set.

“We are a young team as we lost all of our seniors,” said Braga. “We are working on fundamentals and details and that’s all I can ask for from this great group of girls.”