L’Anse wins ‘Battle of the Bay’ over Baraga after slow start

Jamie Glenn/Daily Mining Gazette The Purple Hornets’ Haley Nankervis jumps to attempt a spike during a match with the Vikings Thursday at the Baraga Gym.

BARAGA — Whenever the Baraga Vikings and L’Anse Purple Hornets meet, no matter the sport, the matchup will be a fierce one. On Thursday night at the Baraga Gym, the volleyball match between the two schools was exactly as advertised.

The Vikings fought hard, but fell to the the visiting Purple Hornets 3-1 in a non-WestPAC Conference match, 25-23, 18-25, 21-25, 18-25. L’Anse moved to 4-1 on season with the win.

“What brought us to victory was probably our serving,” said Purple Hornets coach Callie Budweg. “Serving is probably our strongest point right now, despite errors. When we did serve strong, I thought we served very strong.”

Consistency is still at the forefront of Budweg’s mind. The Purple Hornets lost the first set due to a number of service errors and late back-row returns.

“It is like a roller coaster with them,” said Budweg when asked about her team’s play.

The third year coach wants her team to play each game with the same intensity they showed in Games Three and Four Thursday.

With Thursday’s win under their belt and a matchup against the Crystal Falls Forest Park Trojans coming up on Saturday, the Purple Hornets have today to look at film and pick up their game speed in an effort to carry out wins in earlier sets.

“I was hoping to use Baraga as a practice for Saturday, going into Crystal Falls,” said Budweg. “I think the girls are finally realizing what they need to do. We’re going to look at more film, figure out our transition and go into game speed in practices.”

Vikings head coach Heather Chosa was pleased with her team’s growth despite coming up short in the end.

A really strong opening set for the Vikings wasn’t enough to overcome Kailyn Voskuhl’s 14 service points, and Brianna Keinz’s 11 kills and 4 aces throughout the match for the Purple Hornets.

Chosa was pleased with the way her girls played in their opening set, but felt that things unraveled the longer the match went.

“Overall, as a team, they played really well,” said Chosa about her team. “They’ve improved a lot since we played L’Anse in the West Iron County Tournament.”

The Purple Hornets tip-style gameplay in the front row wasn’t what the Vikings were used to practicing.

“We had really hard hits, but our serves killed us in the long run,” Chosa said. “We had a lot of mistakes on serves and sides out.

“They were tipping us (because) we’re used to the hard hits, and we weren’t covering the floor. That killed us.”

Chosa will look to regroup after the loss and work together with her squad at improving front row tips.

“When we have practice next time, we’ll sit down and talk about what we did and what we need to improve on,” she said. “(We will) really work on the tips and where we need to cover the floor, and work together as a team on that front row.”