LL-H swept by Munising in regional semifinals

Lake Linden-Hubbell Lakes’s Erin Seppala bumps the ball with teammate Joslynn Perala in action during a game against Munising Tuesday evening November 7, 2017 at Westwood High School. (Journal photos by Corey Kelly)

ISHPEMING — Skyline Central Conference Player of the Year Kianne Wendt had a stellar night, posting 19 kills and 11 aces to lead Munising past Lake Linden-Hubbell in three sets to advance to the Class D regional championship game on Thursday night at Westwood High School.

The Mustangs won 25-19, 25-15, 25-20.

Munising head coach Ted Williams said his team came to play despite some nerves going in.

“They came to play and I’m happy with them,” he said. “A lot of nerves when you get into this level of tournament play, so I’m proud of them. They played well.”

Wendt, a senior, agreed with the sentiment about nerves and said the team shook them away once the match started.

“I came into the game really nervous and it took a bit for me to get going,” she said. “By the time the first set was over, the nerves were gone and we all came together as a team really well and played to our standard.”

Set 1 started with a kill from Munising’s Michaela Werner and the Mustangs scored five of the first seven points. The Lakes didn’t go away, though. With Munising up 8-4, Lake Linden scored seven straight to jump ahead 11-8. The teams went back and forth a few more times before Munising pulled away. Set point came on an attack error by the Lakes.

“A loss is always a disappointing way to end the season, but this one feels a little worse because we really didn’t play well,” LL-H head coach Maureen Schick said. “Munising had some strong hits and we didn’t have any answer to it, so once we got down, it was just too much to overcome.”

Set 2 appeared to be Munising’s most dominant, as the Mustangs raced out to a 7-1 lead after the Lakes scored the first point on an attack error. The Mustangs never looked back, at one point going on a five-point run to take a 13-5 lead and adding the final three points of a set that was again won on an attack error.

Lake Linden kept things close early on in Set 3. With Munising only up 6-5, the Mustangs used a six-point run to take a 12-5 lead. Lake Linden never caught up as Munising’s attack was too strong. Munising clinched the match and its spot in the regional title match on a service error.

Emily Contreras added 24 assists and seven kills for the Mustangs, while Werner had five kills and five digs.

Munising faces Carney-Nadeau at 6 p.m. Thursday back at Westwood High School.

Williams said the Wolves will be a tough opponent.

“They’re a tough team, well disciplined and good fundamentals,” he said. “We have to bring our A-game again Thursday night for sure.”