CALUMET — The Calumet Copper Kings made quick work of the Ishpeming Hematites on the volleyball court on Tuesday. They downed them in straight sets, 25-7, 25-12 and 25-15. With the win, the Copper Kings improved to 13-4, while the Hematites fell to 8-9.
“Our girls played very well tonight,” said Copper Kings coach Kate Bonacorsi. “They were efficient in their game play especially in those first two sets.”
The first set was dominated by an eight-point service run posted by senior Kaylie Halonen. She moved a 10-3 lead to 18-4. Halonen led the team with five aces on the night and added 12 digs as well.
If a service run or two dominated the first set, it was Calumet’s play at the net that set the tone and earned the points in the second set. Team captain Helen Beiring was a force to be reckoned with as she brought down 12 kills on the night – many of those coming in the second.
It was hard for the Hematites to get past her long reach at the net as she and Caitlyn Strom proved a hard defensive wall to crack.
“The girls took care of business. Kaylie served and passed so well. Helen was again a force at the net,” Bonacorsi said.
In the third set, the Copper Kings varied things up not just with personnel but with their offensive arsenal. As Beiring and other starters sat out, it allowed some of Calumet’s second stringers to get a chance to shine. Among them was junior Laina Kariniemi who posted a five-point service run to open the third with a 9-4 lead.
Tips, long bumps and varied pushes by her teammates made the gap bigger and sealed a 25-15 win.
On the other side of the net, Ishpeming’s coach Katt Beerling wished her girls would have played better.
“We came here with high expectations, and we knew Calumet was a good team,” she said. “They found our weaknesses, and I don’t think my girls were ready for the speed they played.”
On the positive side, Beerling liked the fighting spirit of senior Faith Loman.
“She dug deep in both the front and back row,” Beerling said. “She has a fire about her that I really admire.”
Beiring led the Copper Kings with 12 kills. Allie Bjorn (5), Maddie Torola (4), Jackie Kiilunen (3) and Strom (3) all chipped in. Laina Kariniemi had 17 assists.
The Copper Kings face the L’Anse Purple Hornets Thursday in L’Anse.