Panthers playing stronger, defeat Blue Bolts in straight sets
CHASSELL — What a difference a month makes. Those were the sentiments of coach Karli Michaels as her Chassell Panthers downed the Dollar Bay-Tamarack City Blue Bolts on the volleyball court Monday night in three straight sets 25-16, 25-12 and 25-19.
“They are finally communicating together,” said Michaels, “and that makes all the difference in volleyball.”
According to coach Martha Storm of Dollar Bay, her girls have also improved and that came out on the court on Monday. Storm was short two players and thus all of her girls had to stay in all three sets. However, they battled it out and stayed close to an older, talented Chassell squad.
For the Panthers, sophomore Maelene Warren led the offense with 11 kills and 6 aces. Her accomplice was Lela Rautiola who had 11 assists. Their height and passing skills dominated Chassell’s play.
Service runs were key for the Panthers’ victory as in each set there was a run of at least five that kept the ball on the Chassell side of the net. Warrren had a run of five in first set and Katie Huhta had a run of five in the second.
Jenna Pietila had three aces on the night.
Chassell’s play was characterized by sharp passing and good ball placement.
While Dollar Bay had a number of strong service returns and digs, they could could not keep up the momentum that Chassell continually threw at them.
Dollar Bay’s best set was the third. Molly Myllyoja put together a run of five to bring the Blue Bolts within five, but that was as close as they would get. Inconsistent play plagued them as they could not come together as a team.
“This was a good start to a big week of volleyball for us,” said coach Michaels. “We have four more games coming up.”