LL-H holds off resilient Hancock to win in 4 sets

Paul Peterson photo Lake Linden-Hubbell's Maija Codere goes up a kill against Hancock, Tuesday, in Hancock. The Lakes took a 3-1 victory.

HANCOCK — If Lake Linden-Hubbell was the favorite in Tuesday night’s nonconference volleyball match against Hancock, someone forgot to tell the Bulldogs.

The Lakes were forced to go all-out to secure a 3-1 win (25-16, 25-23, 22-25, 25-22) at the Hancock Gym over the determined Crimson and Gold.

Lakes coach Maureen Schick said that Hancock played the kind of game that can frustrate her team.

“They (Bulldogs) are going to play tough; they’re not a rollover team,” Schick commented. “They put the ball in play real well, and I think we might have gotten impatient. In the second set, we had so many chances to move ahead. We were just standing around and waiting for things to happen.”

Whatever the case was, Hancock refused to buckle in the final three games of the match.

“I thought we played one of our better matches this season,” HCHS coach Sarah Grieger said. “I think we’re improving a little bit each time out, and that’s encouraging.”

When the Bulldogs won the third game behind the play of Clarianne Aikuino and Karena Holmstrom, it looked like the Lakes might be in for a long night.

But after a tough back-and-forth fourth set, the Lakes finally took control with the score tied at 22-all.

A good serve by Maija Codere got them ahead to stay and the Blue and Gold were able to finish off the match on a couple of errors by the Bulldogs.

“We just haven’t figured out how to collectively put it together and put the hammer down consistently,” Schick said. “Sometimes we do, and when we do, we’re beautiful at it.”

Lake Linden-Hubbell, now 17-9-4 on the season, was led by Erin Seppala with 13 kills, while steady Laura Lyons had 20 assists. Mariah Wilmer was steady with seven kills and three blocks.

“We had some good performances from several players,” Schick noted. “But we don’t have that one person who can just kill the ball.”

Grieger was pleased with the overall play and hustle of her team.

“I thought we did a great job in the digs department,” she said. “There were some long volleys tonight and we kept things alive with our (digs) ability.”

Akuino led the Hancock side with eight kills, while the steady Holmstrom had 17 digs and seven kills. Abby Brooks collected 13 digs.

The 3-9 Bulldogs will get ready for the Copper Spike home match against Houghton on Thursday.

The Lakes will host Calumet on Thursday.