Balanced offense, good serving leads Devils to win, 3-1

VIRGINIA — The Virginia volleyball team spread out the offense on Thursday night and took advantage of some solid serving on their way to a 3-0 win over International Falls; 25-14, 25-14, 25-10.

“We really did a lot of good things tonight,” Blue Devils coach Crystal Nucech-Duesler said. “Even the few rough spots, we regrouped and came back strong.”

Virginia won the opening game on the serving of Rian Aune and the kills of Lexiss Trygg.

The Blue Devils jumped out to an early 6-1 lead on the Aune serving.

The Broncos raced right back in the game with a pair of big blocks at the net, coming back to tie the game at 9-9.

Virginia took charge after the game was tied.

Taia Grishaber unleashed a pair of ace serves to 14-9 lead and Trygg added to the lead with a pair of kills to make it a 19-10 Blue Devils lead.

“Those were a couple of the little things,” Nucech-Duesler said. “We took that close game and broke it open doing some of the things we have been working on.”

The teams traded points and the Blue Devils put the game away on a Maya Carlson serve.

Game 2 was a lot like Game 1 with the Blue Devils jumping out to a early big lead.

Grishaber served the Blue Devils to a 6-1 lead before losing the serve, but Virginia got it right back and, very quickly, it was a 13-2 Blue Devils lead with Broncos taking a time out.

“That was another good start,” Nucech-Duesler said. “When we weren’t getting kills, we were getting a tip over the net to score a point.”

Virginia had a 14-5 lead that increased to 15-5 when Kaylee Iverson had a tip at the net.

The Blue Devils added to their lead and the Broncos let it balloon up to 13 points as the Virginia coasted to a 25-14 win in the second frame.

“That was another pretty good game for us,” Nucech-Duesler said. “We got to play a lot of our players and I saw some good thinmgs out there.”

Game 3 saw the Blue Devils add to their ace serve total early in the game.

Grishaber had a pair to make her total four on the evening and Emily Hejny picked up a pair of aces to give her a total of three on the night.

When they weren’t unleashing ace serves, the Blue Devils were unleashing kills.

Trygg, Hejny, Iverson, and even senior Aryona Wallace picking up her second kill of the season.

“Overall it was a good night for us,” Nucech-Dusler said. “Now we have to keep playing good volleyball out there.”

Virginia ended the match with 14 ace serves.

Trygg ended with 10 kills, Iverson added five and Hejny chipped in four.

Alli Anderson led the way with 12 set assists.

Rian Aune led the way with 7 digs and Macy Westby had six set assists.

The win moved the Blue Devils to 6-4 on the season and they will be back in action on Tuesday, when they host Cloquet.

“We have to be ready to play our game on Tuesday,” Nucech-Duesler said.

Eveleth-Gilbert 3,

Mountain Iron-Buhl 1

At Eveleth, the Golden Bears had a slow start in their match with Mountain Iron-Buhl, but picked things up in the final three games, defeating the Rangers 3-1 (16-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-20) Thursday night.

Emily Kemp led the Bears offense with 12 kills. Payton Dosan finished with seven of her own. Maggie Landwer tallied 22 set assists.

Stats for Mountain Iron-Buhl were not available as this edition went to press.

Eveleth-Gilbert will hit the road on Tuesday for a match with Hibbing. The Rangers will travel to Chisholm that same night to take on the Bluestreaks.

Ely 3,

Mesabi East 0

At Aurora, Ely controlled its side of the net well Thursday to dominate Mesabi East, 3-0 (25-19, 25-12, 25-15).

The Timberwolves were paced by Brielle Kallberg with 12 kills and seven digs, while McCartney Kaercher tallied 25 set assists and three ace serves. McKenna Coughlin recorded nine kills and Erika Mattson added six kills.

For the Giants, Emma Baker led the way with 15 set assists and seven digs.

Mesabi East head coach Sara Baribeau said her team lacked energy and team chemistry from the beginning, which made it difficult to keep good runs going. The Giants tallied only 16 total team kills for the night, she added.

The Giants host Littlefork-Big Falls on Monday.


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