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Calumet loses in state quarterfinal, perfect volleyball season ends

CALUMET — The Calumet girls’ volleyball perfect season came to an end on Tuesday night in Houghton Lake as they were defeated by the Beaverton Beavers in the MHSAA Division 3 state quarterfinal.

The Copper Kings (19-1) lost in three sets 25-13, 25-18 and 25-14.

Calumet had lost just one set all season before Tuesday.

“Obviously, we did not play our best,” said Copper King head coach Kate Bonacorsi. “It was a very frustrating loss. We made a number of uncharacteristic errors. These included quite a few net violations and discipline mistakes.”

The Copper Kings had close to two months to prepare for this match as it was initially scheduled to take place in November. However, because of COVID-19 restrictions it was delayed until this week. Beaverton will advance to the semifinals tonight with the state championship match taking place on Saturday.

Because of the delay, Bonacorsi said that she and her team had plenty of time to prepare their game strategy and to watch film on Beaverton.

“We had identified everything that they intended to do, and they did it,” she said. “We had trouble reading them. Defensively we were sluggish and I think that was due to not competing in two months.”

Beaverton advances to play Monroe St. Mary Catholic in today’s semifinal. Schoolcraft faces Saginaw Valley Lutheran in the other semifinal.

This was Bonacorsi’s first season as head coach of Calumet’s varsity program.

“Hopefully this is the most stressful season I’ll ever have,” she said with a smile.

She added that if there was a silvers lining in Calumet’s down-state loss, it was the fact that their magnificent season ended on the court and not due to a mandate.

“I told the girls that I was proud of them and how they have persevered throughout this whole season,” she said. “We accomplished a lot. We were undefeated and we were conference and regional champs up till this week. That’s pretty good and we can be proud of that.”

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