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Grizzlies top Virginia tournament

Marcus White
Posted 9/27/18

VIRGINIA— The North Woods volleyball team is increasingly looking like the team to beat in the region, as they improved to 12-2 on the season and emerged as champions in last Saturday’s Virginia …

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Grizzlies top Virginia tournament

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VIRGINIA— The North Woods volleyball team is increasingly looking like the team to beat in the region, as they improved to 12-2 on the season and emerged as champions in last Saturday’s Virginia Invitational tournament.

The Grizzlies proved an unstoppable in tournament action, as they dominated each of their opponents, including the reigning champs and hosts, the Virginia Blue Devils.

“Throughout the day the girls progressed well and kept getting better with the momentum they were building from each game,” said Head Coach Gabby Sundquist. “I think that when we have a strong team on the court and on the bench, it is beneficial. We were able to use everyone and with that everyone contributed to each of our wins.”

The Grizzlies started cold, losing their first set to South Ridge 20-25. But they quickly turned it around, winning the match in back-to-back sets, 25-19 and 15-3.

Regan Ratai tallied 12 kills along with five digs and two block assists, while Coley Olson posted 10 kills, four digs and two block assists. Hanna Sandberg notched seven digs.

In the second match of pool-play, the Grizzlies again dropped their opening set, this time falling 24-26 to Mt. Iron-Buhl before making a quick recovery winning the second set 25-20.

The Grizzlies would seal MI-B’s fate with a stunning 15-5 win in the third set to take the match.

Ratai put up 12 kills, three digs, and two block assists, while Kate Stone had 13 kills, three digs and an ace. Freshman setter Morgan Burnett tallied 24 assists, and two ace serves, while Olson posted 11 kills and Sandberg added nine digs.

In the first round of bracket play, North Woods handily defeated the Ely Timberwolves 25-18 and 25-13.

Burnett had 20 assists, two digs and as many kills, while Ratai notched seven kills and a block assist. Senior Taylor Mejdrich tallied five kills and a dig, while Sandberg posted five ace serves.

The win set the stage for their championship match against Virginia. The Grizzlies opened strong in their first set, downing the Blue Devils 25-17. Virginia rebounded with an 25-18 win of their own, before the Grizzlies took the tie-breaker 15-9.

Ratai posted 13 kills, 6 digs and an ace, while Olson notched six kills, four digs, and three ace serves. Burnett had 24 set assists and an ace.

The Grizzlies were set to play Northeast Range in Babbitt on Thursday evening. They’ll host Cook County next Monday. Game time is 7 p.m.

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