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Volleyball: Lakes outpace Purple Hornets, 3-1

Lake Linden-Hubbell’s Camryn Crouch, right, bumps the ball from the back row against L’Anse on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, in L’Anse, Mich. (Eddie O’Neill/The Daily Mining Gazette)

L’ANSE — Volleyball is a game of momentum.

An ace serve or a big kill can keep a rally going. Likewise, a serve into the net or a ball bounced long can squelch a scoring burst.

Momentum was certainly the name of the game on Tuesday night as the Lake Linden-Hubbell Lakes outlasted the L’Anse Purple Hornets 3-1 in four sets (25-18, 25-20, 22-25, 25-15) in an evenly matched contest.

“Yes, we won but we should have played better,” said LL-H head coach Mandy Perreault. “We were very flat footed tonight. As much as we did not play good, L’Anse did play well. I give them credit.”

In the first set, the Lakes stormed out to a 5-0 lead under the service of senior Joslynn Perala. However the Purple Hornets came back to tie it at six with Brynn Vanburen serving an ace for the tying point.

At 14-10 the Lakes had their biggest lead of the set only to have it cut down to two by the Purple Hornets Alayna Waara who hit an ace during her time at the the service line.

The Lakes moved back to five when Perala came up to serve again and the team eventually put the first set away 25-18.

The second set followed a similar pattern as the Lakes jumped out to a big 14-6 lead but allowed it to dwindle away due to a momentum swing of poor hits and not capitalizing on service runs.

While the Purple Hornets could get within two or three points of the Lakes, they would suddenly lose their energy with a bad hit here or there. The couldn’t quite capture the lead and went down 25-20.

“I thought we were very much evenly matched,” Purple Hornets head coach Callie Budweg said. “I was very much pleased with our play. The little errors turned into big errors and that killed us.”

The third set was a combination of the Purple Hornets’ best play of the night and the Lakes’ worst.

Once again, LL-H jumped out to an 8-6 lead only to have their opponent come from behind and tie at nine.

“They took advantage of our weak spots,” Perrault said. “They mixed it up well with a tip and then a hard hit. They took advantage of our weak spots as we gave them too many easy balls.”

The Purple Hornets moved on to a 16-10 lead and won the set 25-22 with Natalie Swanson at the line for the final point.

The fourth set started out as another nail-biter. After being tied at four and at six, the Lakes pushed their way to 12-8 led by Jamie Hendrickson who had a key ace. The Lakes pushed their way ahead on and won some key volleys to keep their momentum going and made it 18-10. While the Purple Hornets had a number of chances to come back, couldn’t put any significant scoring runs together before losing 25-1.

For the Lakes, Alyssa Burton led the serve with four aces. Perala was the big hitter of the night with seven kills out of the teams 21.

On the defensive side of the net, the Lakes had 65 digs as a team Perala led the Lakes with 21 digs. Burton followed with 14.

Despite the loss, Budweg said that there was much to learn from last night’s game.

“I was pleased with the senior leadership tonight,” she said. “We are a young team but the girls battled back and played well. While it is a loss, it is something we can learn from.”

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