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Ely heads to semis after topping Tigers

Were set to face Carlton for trip to section finals as Timberjay went to press

Marshall Helmberger
Posted 10/30/19

ELY— Last year, Carlton ended the Timberwolves playoff run in the semi-final round. This year, the Wolves were looking for sweet revenge on Wednesday night following the Timberjay’s weekly …

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Ely heads to semis after topping Tigers

Were set to face Carlton for trip to section finals as Timberjay went to press

Posted

ELY— Last year, Carlton ended the Timberwolves playoff run in the semi-final round. This year, the Wolves were looking for sweet revenge on Wednesday night following the Timberjay’s weekly presstime (see results Thursday at timberjay.com).

That’s when second-seeded Ely was slated to take on the top-seeded Bulldogs for a trip to the Section 7A championship.

Ely earned their bid in this week’s semi-finals after outpacing Cherry last Friday, 3-1, to improve their season record to 25-3.

“We had a great start and then faltered in the second set,” said Ely Head Coach Andrea Thomas.

The Wolves dominated set one, downing the Tigers 25-15, before the momentum switched in the second set. “We just couldn’t keep the momentum on our side long enough to get something started during that second set,” said Thomas. They fell behind and lost the set 13-25.

It looked like set three could be a repeat, said Thomas, until the Wolves’ defense kicked into gear. “We were really covering the floor well and had a nice rhythm by the end of the set, which carried into set four.” The Wolves took the final two sets 25-20 and 25-18.

Several Ely players put up big numbers on the night. Senior Erika Mattson posted 16 kills and 13 digs, while fellow senior Brielle Kallberg added 14 kills and nine digs. Junior McKenna Coughlin added a dozen kills, nine digs and two ace serves, while senior Jenna Merhar tallied eight kills and two blocks. Senior setter McCartney Kaercher tallied 45 assists.

“Cherry has a great team and they definitely challenged us,” said Thomas. “It helped that we were able to spread out our offense among a number of players. The girls had some great numbers in the kill category.”

The Wolves faced Cherry in the quarterfinals after sweeping Nashwauk-Keewatin in the opening round on Oct. 23.

Coughlin had a strong night, posting nine kills and as many digs, while Mattson added ten kills and six digs. Kallberg posted six kills, two ace serves and two blocks, while Winter Sainio added five kills and five ace serves. Merhar added four kills and two blocks, while Kaercher posted 30 set assists.

volleyball, sports

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