Copper Kings make short work of Negaunee in 3-0 win

Negaunee’s Natalie Bell, left, tries to hit one past Calumet’s Ila Goulette on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021, in Calumet, Mich. (Eddie O’Neill/The Daily Mining Gazette)

CALUMET — The Calumet Copper Kings volleyball squad improved their record to 20-4-1 on Tuesday as they swept the Negaunee Miners (9-3) in three straight sets with scores of 25-15 25-20 25-10.

Each set was chalk full of hard hit balls from high above the net, all the way down to some pancake digs and some intense volleys along the way.

Negaunee head coach Krista Squiers said Tuesday’s matchup was on the best games she saw her team play in a while.

“I told the girls the score does not reflect how I feel they played tonight,” she said. “They were moving and the girls were taking caring of things. It was good play.”

Kate Bonacorsi, head coach of the Copper Kings, was obviously pleased with her girls’ winning effort, but also gave credit to a strong Negaunee defense.

“They had some very good defenders,” she said. “They got a hand on a lot of balls.”

In the first set, Calumet’s Lizzie Torola opened up with a run of four to put the Copper Kings up 6-2. The Copper King kept control and pushed it up to 14-8. With Helen Beiring at the line, she moved the score to 23-13. She led the night with five aces and the offensive punch over the net with an impressive 12 kills. The Copper Kings finished off the first 25-15.

The second set started out again with the Copper Kings on top. A well-placed tip by Calumet’s Ila Goulette made the score 4-1. That score moved to 14-7 thanks to some big swings by Mary Beth Halonen. The Miners struggled to put any kind of a run together. They would earn a point but turned the ball back over to Calumet the next serve.

Bonacorsi took note of it.

“Our girls sided out really well,” she said. “(Negaunee) would get a point but we would side out on the next play. They put together very few two points in a row. We controlled the ball, and when you control the ball, you control the game.”

Squiers noted that the second set was their best. With an ace served up by the Miners Natalie Bell, the Miners pulled within four at 21-17. However that is as good as it gets as the Copper Kings went on to win it 25-20.

Negaunee opened the third by tying Calumet at two, three and four. However Calumet’s Beiring moved the score to 16-5 with a service run of seven. Helping Beiring stay strong at the line was Goulette who was a wall to be reckoned with at top of the net. She had seven blocks on the evening. Equally strong on the Copper Kings defense was their libero Jana Loukus who had 21 digs. The Copper Kings would hold the Miners to just 10 points and earn a 25-10 win.

Calumet plays in the West PAC tournament Saturday in Houghton. The tournament begins at 9 a.m.

LL-H beat Watersmeet, Dollar Bay-TC in triangular

The Lake Linden-Hubbell Lakes swept the Watersmeet Nimrods on Tuesday at the Lake Linden Triangular. The Lakes won 25-10, 25-13 and 25-7.

They were led offensively by Maddie Buschell who had seven kills. Camaryn Crouch followed with four kills. Brook Banfield had five aces.

The Lakes earned another victory as they swept the Dollar Bay Blue Bolts with scores of 25-16, 25-15 and 25-16. Becca Lyons for the Lakes had four aces and four kills. Taylor Clement led the Lakes with six kills.

Also winning on Tuesday was Dollar Bay as they defeated Watersmeet in four sets.

Bessemer, Ironwood sweep Chassell

The Bessemer Speedgirls swept the Chassell Panthers on the volleyball court on Tuesday with scores of 25-7, 25-18 and 27-25.

The Ironwood Red Devils overpowered the Panthers on Monday as they won 25-5, 25-18 and 25-8.


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