Chassell closing in on conference crown

CHASSELL – The Chassell High volleyball team took another step toward their first-ever Mountain Lakes Conference title Tuesday night.

The Panthers assured themselves of at least a tie for the crown with a 3-0 (25-11, 25-12, 25-20) win over Ewen-Trout Creek at Ed Helakoski Memorial Gym.

“We still need to win at Baraga on Thursday for the outright title,” Chassell coach Gael Filpus said. “We need to bring our ‘A’ game there …. and take care of business.”

Chassell now holds a 7-1 record in the league – that lone setback coming against Baraga in the first match of the season.

Against their namesakes from Ontonagon County, the Panthers were never in any serious trouble.

“I thought we came out kind of tentative tonight,” E-TC coach Amber Pearsall commented. “But the girls hung in there and made a game of it in the third game.”

After falling behind by a 16-6 score in the final game, Ewen-TC twice got to within two points at 18-16 and 20-18.

But Chassell put the match away by connecting on a couple of well-placed serves.

Annie Ruohonen – one of seven CHS seniors honored in pregame Senior Night ceremonies – once again led the stats parade with five aces, two blocks and 13 kills.

“We’ve had good leadership from our seniors all season,” Filpus noted. “It’s one of the reasons we’ve done as well as we have.”

Kirsten Daavetilla chipped in three aces, six assists and five kills for the winners. Sara Kilpela contributed five aces and six digs; Shelby Seppanen had five aces and eight assists; Macy Holombo came up with six digs; and Katrina Kangas had five digs.

Pearsall said her team has struggled with consistency this season but has shown improvement in the late going.

“We’ve been trying to work on the fundamentals, just trying to get better,” she said. “Chassell was just too tough for us tonight.”

Taylor Niemi paced the Black and Gold with seven aces and 13 assists, while Molly Niemi came up with four kills and three blocks, and Jazzmyn McGeshick had two kills and three blocks.