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Volleyball: Calumet sweeps for district crown

The Calumet High School volleyball team poses with the Division 3 District 65 championship trophy after defeating L'Anse 3-0 on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Calumet, Mich. (Eddie O'Neill/The Daily Mining Gazette)

CALUMET — The Calumet Copper Kings added another victory to their perfect season (17-0) on the volleyball court Thursday night, and it was a big one.

Calumet defeated the L’Anse Purple Hornets in the MHSSA Division 3 District 65 championship by scores of 25-5, 25-14 and 25-13.

Calumet’s head coach Kate Bonacorsi couldn’t be prouder of her team who raised the championship trophy with pride after the game.

“The girls took care of business,” she said. “They were efficient and got the job done.

They all played well.”

In the first set, the Copper Kings took advantage of a seemingly cold and flat-footed Purple Hornet team. It only took four Calumet servers to win the first. L’Anse struggled with serve receive as the Copper Kings offered up a variety of serves. If kills were Calumet’s gameplan on Wednesday against Hancock, aces were the key Thursday. Elli Djerf led with nine, while Helen Beiring had five. The two led their team in kills as well — Djerf with 11 and Beiring with eight.

The second and third sets went better for the Purple hornets. They tied the game at three and were down by just three at 10-7 in the second. Then the Copper Kings pulled away with a long service run led by their libero Cami Johnson.

“Calumet is out of our league,” said L’Anse head coach Chad Rice. “They play like a big school. There is no bad positions on the team.”

He added that he just wanted to get double digits on the score board against them and his team did in the second and third. In fact in the third set, a combination of out-of-bounds balls hit by the Copper Kings and some strong play of their own, put the Purple Hornets down just by two at 13-11 and by four at 16-12. Then the Copper Kings did what they do best and took off to the win the match.

“Our girls played awesome,” he added. “They stuck in there.”

Both teams played their seniors much of the third set which was a fitting end to a strange cut short by the pandemic. The Purple Hornets ended their season 6-4. The Copper Kings have at least one more game as they will face either Gwinn and Neguanne.

“We don’t know much about either team,” Bonacorsi said. “However, the girls will continue to work hard on their serve receive and our varied attack options.”

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