CHISHOLM — The Virginia volleyball team ran in to a Chisholm squad that just wasn’t going to go away on Thursday night, with the Blue Devils winning the match, 3-2 (25-13 25-18 21-25 18-25 16-14).
“The win was nice but we sure didn’t do everything we wanted to do,” Virginia coach Crystal Nucech-Duesler said. “We have work to do.”
The Blue Devils dominated the opening game, racing out to a 18-10 lead with Lexiss Trygg and Taia Grishaber dominating at the net.
Trygg ended the game with a pair of ace serves to close out the 12-point win.
“I don’t know if it was a mentle start for us,” Chisholm coach Pam Pioski said. “The girls are a good team but they sure didn’t come out in the first two games and play well.”
Virginia took advantage of some Bluestreaks errors in the second game, grabbing a 9-8 lead and not looking back, on their way to a seven point victory.
The Bluestreaks got close a pair of times when Abby Thompson unleashed a pair of kills, but the Virginia offense was just a little too tough.
Game three was a totally different story.
The Blue Devils jumped out to a 8-1 lead which forced Pioski to take a time out and it was a brand new Chisholm squad after the break.
The Bluestreaks climbed back in the game and a Thompson kill cut the Virginia lead to 10-7.
Chisholm picked up a pair of points to make it 10-9 and a Thompsom ace serve tied the game at 10-10, forcing Nucech-Duesler to use up one of her time outs.
“Chisholm really came out different in that third game,” Nucech-Duesler said. “They really put the pressure on us and it paid off for them.”
The teams traded points until the game was tied at 20-20 and then a Jordan Temple kill gave the Bluestreaks a 22-20 lead allowing Thompson to later end the game with an ace serve.
“That third game was a fun game to watch and coach,” Pioski said. “Both teams were playing hard out there.”
Game four found the Bluestreaks playing more great volleyball and grabbing a 12-11 lead and never looking back on their way to a seven point win.
“I was not happy at all, that game,” Nucech-Duesler said. “There was a lot of basic things that we just didn’t do right and Chisholm made us pay for it.”
Game five was an absolute battle.
Chisholm raced out to a early 8-2 lead on the serve of Ava Silvestrini and Thompson at the net.
That lead forced Virginia to take their final time out and regroup.
“I told them that I just used our final time out so they better figure something out,” Nucech-Duesler said. “They came out after the time out making some changes out there.”
The Blue Devils came back and tied the game at 14-14 with Kaylee Iverson serving.
A pair of Bluestreaks errors brought the contest to an end.
“We were luck to get out of here tonight with the win,” Nucech-Duesler said. “Chisholm is a very good team.”
Trygg ended the contest with 24 kills and nine digs, while Alli Anderson had 34 set assists and Iverson chipped in 7 kills.
Thompson led the Bluestreaks with 13 kills and 14 digs, while Temple had 34 set assists and 15 digs.
Kaija Gams chipped in 14 digs.
Virginia will head to Apple Valley today, while Chisholm will be off until next Thursday, when they will host Hill City.
“We will work hard next week and get ready for Hill City,” Pioski said.
Mesabi East 3,
North Woods 0
At Cook, the Mesabi East volleyball team picked up another sweep Thursday with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-17) win over North Woods.
Mia Mattfield led the way for the Giants with eight kills, 12 ace serves and two blocks. Lindsey Baribeau finished with six kills and two blocks while Kaitlynn James had six kills and nine digs.
Autumn Gregorich had three aces, five kills and seven digs. Steph Zimmer had six digs and Emma Baker had 23 set assists.
Coley Olson and Karlyn Pierce led the Grizzlies offensive attack with 12 kills apiece. Olson also finished with 10 set assists while Pierce ha two blocks.
Kenzie Fox finished with seven set assists, two aces and two blocks. Olivia Udovich had 10 set assists.
North Woods will take on Deer River at home on Monday while Mesabi East will hit the road on Saturday for the Greenway Tournament.
Northeast Range 3,
Mountain Iron-Buhl 2
At Babbitt, Northeast Range and Mountain Iron-Buhl found themselves locked in a five-set thriller Thursday. In the end, the Nighthawks got the win over the Rangers, 3-2 (25-21, 19-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-7).
Hannah Reichensperger led the offense for Northeast Range with 26 kills. She added 18 digs and six blocks to her stat line. Natalie Nelmark had seven kills of her own and served for 11 points in a row in the fifth game for NER. Lara Poderay put up 30 set asists and Jenna Smith finished with 20 digs.
McKinley Kvas and Morgan Dircks led the offensive for MI-B with eight kills apiece. Kvas also added four ace serves. Miah Gellerstedt came up with 13 digs, while Maleah Milton had 11 of her own.
Jordan Zubich finished with two blocks, Sage Ganyo had 11 set assists and Paris Pontinen finished with 12 set assists.
Rangers head coach Megan Preiner said after the game that the power of Nighthawks middle hitter Reichensperger was too much for her squad to overcome.
“It was a tight match,” Preiner said. “Their middle hitter was pretty dominant and it was hard to stop her. Once we were able to catch on to it, it was just a little too late.”
Mountain Iron-Buhl will be in action again on Tuesday when they host Cromwell-Wright. Northeast Range is in action at the Greenway Tournament on Saturday.
Littlefork-Big Falls 0
At Littlefork, the Timberwolves pulled off the sweep on the road Tuesday, downing Littlefork-Big Falls 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-15) with a strong offensive team effort.
Leading the way in kills was Brielle Kallberg who finished with 10. She also had nine digs and three blocks. Erika Mattson finished with nine kills and 11 digs.
McCartney Kaercher put up 26 set assists in the win. McKenna Coughline finished with four kills and four ace serves while Jenna Merhar tallied five kills and a pair of blocks.