The fourth-seeded Hinckley/Finlayson Jaguars hosted the fifth-seeded Isle Huskies in the opening round of the Section 5A volleyball tournament on Oct. 22. A fourth and fifth seed pairing ought to produce a close match, and that is just how this event played out.
Isle jumped out to win the first two sets, taking advantage of a three-shot swing in game one when the Jaguar coaches made an illegal move that took away two of their points and gave one point to Isle. That proved to be the difference in the 25-22 Isle first-set win.
Set two started with seven ties until Isle, who was up 16-14, went on to outscore their hosts 9-1 off the brilliant serving of Jill Thompson and Carly Gallion, who produced four aces during that run.
Up 2-0, Isle dropped the following two sets, being out-killed 21-9 and out-aced 9-0.
But it was all Isle in the fifth and deciding set, won by the Huskies 15-8.
The victory was arguably one the best wins of the recent past for the Huskies in that it came during the first round of sections. The last time an Isle volleyball team won a section match was in the fall of 2015 when they beat those same Jaguars.
Isle finished the match with 11 kills and seven aces. Tommi Spengler and Mary Ajax accounted for eight of the 11 kills for the Huskies.
The win was the seventh of the season for the Huskies and earned them the right to play the top-seeded Rush City Tigers in round two of the tourney.
Isle 25 25 13 10 15 H/F 22 15 25 25 8
“We stayed with them during the first and third sets with some long volleys and even had the lead in game three,” said Isle coach Nancy Miller about her team’s 3-0 loss to the top-seeded Rush City Tigers in the second round of the Section 5A volleyball on Oct. 25.
For the game, Isle turned in 14 kills, led by Mary Ajax with four, Isabelle Krawiecki and Miranda Leach with three and two each by Tommi Spengler and Olivia Oberfeld.
The loss to Rush City left the Huskies with an overall record of 7-21 for the season, and it was the final match in an Isle uniform for seniors Carly Gallion, Olivia Oberfeld, Emily Miller, Beth Towle and Miranda Leach.
Isle 19 11 15
Rush City 25 25 25