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Volleyball: Chassell sweeps Jeffers, 3-0

Jeffers’ Maria Johnson (7) sets the ball for teammate Allie Pietila (8) against Chassell on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, in Painesdale, Mich. (Eddie O’Neill/The Daily Mining Gazette)

PAINESDALE — It was the second game in as many days for the Jeffers Jets volleyball team, and despite much better team play, they could not keep up with the Chassell Panthers.

The Panthers swept the Jets 25-22, 25-22 and 25-17.

“I thought we did pretty good,” said Chassell head coach Karli McMullen. “It’s definitely been challenging as my girls have been quarantined now twice. So, they have not touched a volleyball in three weeks.”

It was a back-and-forth battle as the first set got under way. Chassell senior Alia Palosaari kept the Panthers alive with some great digs from the back line. The game was tied four times within the first ten points. Linnea Huhta then put Chassell up by two as she served up two consecutive aces to make the score 9-7.

The Panthers then pushed out to a 17-14 lead only to have the Jets tie it at 17. Jeffers Allie Pietila got them there with a run of four from the service line. These two cross-town rivals tied again at 20 and 22 before the Panthers put it away at 25-22.

It was all Chassell and specifically Maddie Holombo that took charge at the start of the second set. Holombo was on fire at the line putting the Panthers up to a 10-1 lead.

“Maddie played great and so did Malene Warren,” McMullen said.

The Panthers nine-point lead lasted until the Jets Miranda Heinonen stepped up to the service line for the Jets. She and her teammates made a big comeback and got within four at 22-18. However, as Jets coach Rachel Torp said, it was too little too late.

“We played better than yesterday,” she said. “We came together following the ball and played better as a team play. We moved our feet better, and I liked the placement of the balls over the net.”

What Torp did not like was the 16 service errors that the Jets gave the Panthers.

“That’s a whole set,” she said.

Chassell’s Warren was the one to beat at the start of the third. The senior had a number of kills that pushed the Panthers to 12-8 lead. The Panthers consistency and steady play made the Jets fight hard to earn every point. It also moved the score to 25-17 and a victory.

With the win the Panthers move to 4-1 on the season and hope to have no more stoppages.

“We are just ready to get back into the swing of things with regular practices and games,” said McMullen.

Chassell 25 25 25

Jeffers 22 22 17

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