Prep volleyball: Manistique defends home court, tops Newberry in four sets

MANISTIQUE – A few lengthy service runs made a difference for the Manistique Emeralds Monday night as they posted a four-set 25-11, 25-18, 24-26, 25-15 volleyball triumph over the Newberry Indians.

Junior outside hitter Maggie Morrison provided the Emeralds with a pair of six-point runs, including one which gave them a 10-2 advantage in the fourth set.

“Our serving is what gives us momentum,” said Emeralds’ coach Amy Nixon. “We did a lot of things right in Game 4. Our girls were determined to not let the ball hit the floor.”

Sophomore middle hitter Machaela Hinkson later hit a five-point run, which gave the Emeralds a seemingly-comfortable 20-10 cushion.

During that stretch, Hinkson tallied her lone ace and sophomore middle Lexi Carlson had a block on Newberry junior outside hitter Jordyn Barrs for a kill.

But the Indians weren’t done as they scored five unanswered points, including one on a block by senior middle hitter Cori Canfield, to pull within 20-15 and force Manistique to use a time-out.

After the time-out, a serving error gave Manistique a sideout and a 21-15 cushion. The Emeralds then secured the decision on three Newberry hitting errors and a kill by junior outside hitter Hailey Hoholik.

The Emeralds nearly pulled out the third set, scoring four consecutive points after trailing 23-20.

Manistique first got a sideout on another hitting error, then got back-to-back kills by Morrison during that run which gave it a 24-23 lead.

A kill by junior defensive specialist Toni Paramski, however, pulled Newberry even at 24. Junior Gabi Rochefort then hit an ace to put the Indians ahead 25-24, which was followed by a hitting error by the Emeralds.

“We got a lot of points off our serves in Games 1 and 2,” said Nixon. “Then, we had more errors in Game 3, which I think caused us to lose a little momentum. We’re focusing on trying to stay mentally tough this season, realizing every match is going to be a battle. I don’t think the girls relaxed so much in the third set as much as we have some kids battling illnesses. I’m proud of them for battling through it. In fact, I felt we had the momentum after the third set because we came back and nearly won it.”

Newberry coach Sandy Glenn felt the Indians also gained some momentum during the third.

“The third set got us back into the match,” she said. “We have a young team. This is pretty much a jayvee team playing its first varsity match. Overall, I don’t think we did too badly.”

In the first set, the Emeralds used a seven-point run by senior middle hitter Leah Cook to gain an insurmountable 24-10 advantage.

The Emeralds, fueled by Morrison’s first six-point run, then took charge in the second.

Morrison finished with six aces, including three straight in the second set. She also had eight kills and eight digs. McNamara added nine kills, an ace, a dig and 19 assists. Sophomore Sydney Chartier collected three aces, a kill and 25 assists in the Emeralds’ 6-2 offense.

“Between Maggie and Vanessa, they kind of run our offense with help from Sydney,” said Nixon. “We passed the ball well for the most part.”

Paramski ended with 13 service points, Rochefort had nine points and junior middle hitter Dakota Keinonen hit a service ace which gave the Indians their 23-20 lead in the third set.

Canfield collected four blocks and Keinonen had two.

“Gabi (Canfield) played real well at the net,” said Glenn.

The Emeralds also won the JV match 25-14, 25-18.

Manistique travels to Westwood Thursday. Newberry hosts Engadine tonight.