Houghton sweeps Gladstone in district semifinal
HOUGHTON — On a night when talk of blue waves and red waves filled the air waves, the Houghton Gremlins threw an orange one at the Gladstone Braves.
Coach John Christianson’s teams overwhelmed the Braves on Tuesday night in a Division 2 District 33 semifinal in three straight sets (25-15, 25-9, 25-14).
That sets up a district title game Thursday at Escanaba High with either Kingford or Escanaba.
“They’re both good, solid programs,” Christianson said of the Eskymoes and Flivvers. “And they play hard. We’ll need to play well to have a shot.”
Speaking of having a shot, Gladstone didn’t have one last night.
“Houghton is a good team,” GHS coach Averi Kanyuh said. “We didn’t play very well, but they (Gremlins) had a lot to do with it.”
Sparked by their pair of All West-PAC First Team selections Maryellen Trewhella and Stella Wickstrom, the locals dominated from start to finish.
“It went the way I thought it would,” the Houghton coach said. “I thought we served with the proper amount of toughness and we played with discipline.”
Gladstone’s 6-foot-2 standout Megan Crow was a concern of the Orange and Black.
“Our objective was to keep them from setting her (Crow) up,” Christianson said. “I was very pleased with what we did tonight.”
Trewhella picked up seven kills in leading the offense. She also had eight digs.
“Maryellen was terrific at the net,” Christianson said. “But we also got five kills each from Raven Johnson and Olivia Merriman, who are our antlers.”
Micaela Geborkoff was singled out for keeping the “ball moving and getting it back to where we could do things with them.”
Geborkoff totaled 22 assists. while Brenna Kirkpatrick chipped in five aces.
Paige DeForge, who strung together a run of 10 straight winning serves in the final set, also had 18 digs.
Houghton brings a 10-4 record into the finals.
Crow was limited to just five kills in the match.
“We struggled with passing and didn’t get the ball to her as much as we would have liked,” Kanyuh said.
Joyce Barron paced the Braves on offense.