Steady Bulldogs sweep Panthers

CHASSELL – Steady progress is the message that Hancock High volleyball coach Mary Kaminski is preaching to her team this season.

And Kaminski was satisfied that her squad showed that in a three-set victory over Chassell Thursday night at Ed Helakoski Memorial Gymnasium.

“I thought we played well tonight,” Kaminski said after her team’s 25-16, 25-16 and 25-19 sweep. “That’s our goal … to show improvement match-by-match.”

The meeting of two relatively young squads saw the Crimson and Gold take early command in the first two sets.

But the Panthers led a good portion of the third set until four straight service aces by senior Taylor Mattson snapped a 16-16 deadlock.

“Taylor (Mattson) played real well in that stretch,” Kaminski noted. “She had sat the third set to get the other girls some time, but she helped us get control.”

CHS coach Gael Filpus said her team gave it a good shot, but ended up short in serve receive department.

“We’ve pretty much struggled with that all season,” Filpus said. “We have get better at it. We’ll work on it.”

Senior Amanda Manninen excelled in the first two sets for HCHS and ended up with a team-best six kills and 12 digs. Mattson contributed six aces, Jennifer Hannon had 16 digs and Allison Berryman came up with five kills in a fine overall game.

“Allison (Berryman) has kind of been dealing with nagging injuries all season,” Kaminski said. “But she’s coming around now.”

The Panthers were paced by Kirsten Daavettila with two kills, three aces and five digs. Shelby Seppanen was good for eight assists and five kills, Maddy Huhta contributed four blocks and four kills, Ann Ruohonen had five blocks and five kills and Karli Michaels chipped in eight digs.

“I thought our middle hitters did a good job, that was a bright spot,” Filpus said.

Both teams will compete in the Marquette Invitational this weekend. Filpus said the tourney will be a challenge.

“There will be some bigger schools … and some big, tall girls there,” the Chassell coach said.