Chassell edges Baraga to win Vikes’ tournament

BARAGA – It was as close as it could be in the final of the Baraga Invitational Saturday, and Chassell claimed the razor-thin decision by beating the hosts 16-14 in the third set to win the four-team tournament.

The teams split the first two sets, with Chassell winning the opener 25-17 before Baraga evened it up, 25-22.

It was only natural as the teams both defeated Ontonagon and Dollar Bay and split the sets in their preliminary match.

“Chassell played consistently strong all day. They placed their shots very well and played tough, scrappy defense,” Baraga coach Peggy Reinsch said.

Annie Ruohonen’s 20 kills, nine aces and four blocks led the Panthers in all categories, while Karli Michaels racked up 24 digs. Kirsten Daavettila added 26 assists, 19 kills and 10 digs.

For Baraga, Melissa Putala was the top attacker with 22 kills and added a team-best nine aces. Kelly Bedner posted 33 assists, while Taylor Swanson added 10 assists and a team-best 16 digs.

“Baraga was hoping to defend their title as last year’s champions of this tourney, and I was pleased with our strong effort today. I see improvement in some of the areas that we have really been focusing on in practice,” Reinsch said.

Dollar Bay and Ontonagon both went 0-2-1 in preliminary play, with the Bays winning the third-place match 2-1 (15-11 in the third set).