CHISHOLM- The North Woods volleyball team closed out its regular season on Monday with a 3-1 loss to Chisholm in a match that provided mixed signals as the Grizzlies roll into sectional tournament …
CHISHOLM- The North Woods volleyball team closed out its regular season on Monday with a 3-1 loss to Chisholm in a match that provided mixed signals as the Grizzlies roll into sectional tournament action next week.
Having lost to the Bluestreaks in the Mesabi East tournament nine days prior, the Grizzlies came out of the box hot on Monday, getting good ball movement on offense as they opened a 6-0 lead in the first set. Appearing stunned, Chisholm shook off the Grizzlies’ salvo and climbed back into the game, forging a tie at 9-9 on the way to their own six-point advantage at 20-14.
The Grizzlies’ Skyler Yernatich halted the Bluestreaks surge as North Woods mounted a comeback, pulling to within 24-23 before losing the final point and game.
The Grizzlies had their strongest showing of the match in the second game, a 25-19 win made more notable by the fact that they accomplished it without the services of one of their starters, Hannah Kinsey, who left the game midway with an injury and did not return. Leading 13-9 at the time, the Grizzlies appeared determined not to let this one slip away. Getting consistently strong passing and sets, Abbigail Shuster, Morgan Burnett, and Yernatich kept the Bluestreaks off balance offensively and never let Chisholm get closer than three points as they knotted the match 1-1.
Game three was a barnburner, with the lead swapping sides six times as neither team enjoyed a lead greater than three until the end. North Woods held a tenuous 20-17 lead when Chisholm suddenly went on a tear, reeling off six consecutive points before the Grizzlies’ Tori Olson stopped the streak with a deep kill shot. It wasn’t enough, however, as Chisholm notched the come-from-behind victory, 25-21.
The Grizzlies were never in the fourth game, looking tentative and defensive as they fell behind 13-4 en route to a 25-14 loss.
North Woods finished the regular season with a record of 11-14, going 9-9 against 7A sectional opponents and 3-3 in their final six matches. The Grizzlies, back at full strength after a series of midseason matches where many of their starters were absent from the lineup, have been fine-tuning their rotations for a sectional tournament run, but with Kinsey’s status uncertain, they may need to again lean more heavily on their reserves. The sectional tournament bracket was not available at press time.
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