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Panthers volleyball earns win over Lakes 3-1

The Lakes’ Olivia Shank (3), Brooke Banfield (8) and Sidney Griffen (2) huddle up with teammates after earning a point during a match against against the Panthers Monday night in Chassell. (Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette)

CHASSELL — The Chassell Panthers put in their best performance of the season and earned their second win on the volleyball court Monday night. To get there they downed the Lake Linden-Hubbell Lakes 3-1. The Panthers won the final three sets to earn the victory, 15-25, 25-21, 25-22 and 25-19.

“I am so proud of these girls,” said Panthers coach Carly Goddard after the game. “Their communication was key, and they played as a team.”

Interestingly, the Lakes took the first set 25-15. They did so by dominating from the service line. A service run of four from Maddie Buschell, which included two aces, was followed shortly after by Olivia Shank, who posted her own service run of four. Buschell then closed it out with her third and final ace of the night.

In the second set, the Panthers and the Lakes tied at six and again at 12. Then Chassell turned the table.

With Maija Sauvola on the line, she and her teammates made it a 19-14 Panthers’ lead. The hosts held that advantage until the score was 23-18. Not long after that, the Panthers closed out the set win.

The Lakes’ Brooke Banfield serves one up during a match against the Panthers Monday in Chassell. (Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette)

Of note, Goddard really liked the play of Gracie Moyle in that second set.

“I brought her up from JV, and she played amazing,” said her coach.

The third set looked quite like the second. The rivals tied at six, then at eight and 14 before Kierah Hietala tallied some points at the line for Chassell. She led the charge and steadied the team to a 21-17 lead and the eventual 25-22 win.

The fourth set saw the Lakes jump out to a 6-3 lead, but that lead did not last long as an ace by Kylee Sohlden made it a 16-9 Chassell lead. The Panthers didn’t look back en route to the set victory.

Sohlden led the team with seven aces. Saige Hietala led the offensive charge with seven kills.

“Hats off to Saige as she is such a senior leader,” said Goddard. “She kept the team energetic and on their toes the whole game.”

On the other side of the net, Lakes coach Ellen Jarvis felt her group continues to struggle with fundamentals.

“We do not and have not played well as a team,” she said. “Our problem is that we have good individual players who have not figured out how to play well together.

“They say volleyball is more mental than physical, and that adage certainly came true. We are a work in progress.”

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