By ERIC BENAC
News Sports Writer
POSEN-The Rogers City volleyball team set up the Wednesday rematch it was hoping for.
News Photo by Eric Benac
Rogers City’s Lindsey Claus (left) hits the ball over the net while Hillman’s Abby Olree (right) goes up for the block during a Division 4 district volleyball game on Monday at Posen High School.
The Hurons swept Hillman in three games, 25-10, 25-23 and 25-14, in the first round of a Class D district at Posen High School on Monday.
Rogers City will play Onaway on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., following the other semifinal matchup between Posen and Atlanta which starts at 6 p.m.
Rogers City head coach Jackie Quaine praised for her girls and the Hillman team after the match.
As a clarification, the championship match for the Posen volleyball district will be played on Thursday at 7 p.m., not Friday as was reported in Monday's paper.
"We played very solid and Hillman did a great job too. They've got a good team and I think she (Hillman head coach Erin Brege) will have a good little team in a few years," she said. Only four of the 12 girls on the team are seniors.
The first game was a rough start for the young Hillman team. Rogers City's Alexa Quaine opened the game by serving for four points. Hillman answered back with its own three-point scoring streak from Alissa Jones. This was the closest Hillman got to overtaking Rogers City as the Hurons won the next point to go up 5-3.
Rogers City quickly pulled ahead after a few brief streaks which included a seven-point scoring streak from Nikkie LaLonde. At the end of her streak, Hillman trailed 17-6.
Lalonde had five aces on the night.
Hillman never recovered, scoring only four more points to Rogers City's eight to lose 25-10. Sarah Meredith served for her own two point streak for the game and finished with eight kills on the night for the Hurons.
Jones led Hillman in the second game and the Tigers played better defensively against Rogers City. Jones finished with seven digs, four service points and four kills on the night.
The Tigers didn't have the long point streaks that Rogers City had in the first game but they shut down several streaks under the watchful eye of Abby Olree.
Olree recorded three aces, three kills and three blocks on the night.
Rogers City pulled ahead 17-12 later in the match, but Hillman responded and tied the game at 18 after strong play from Riley Applegren and Chelsey Painter.
Appelgren ended the night with two service points and two assists while Painter contributed five assists and two service points.
Both teams then entered a point-swapping streak, with Rogers City briefly pulling ahead only to be caught up with by Hillman a few points later. Hillman played strong but Rogers City played a little better and won the game by a nail biting 25-23.
Hillman's head coach Erin Brege commented on her team's focused play on the night and through the year.
"The girls really had a team perspective all the way to tonight and they still focused on the game. They had a lot of heart and I'm very proud of how they played tonight and all year," she said.
The third game of the match saw a return to a more dominant style of play from Rogers City. Jena Tulgetske and Lindsey Claus led the way and began knocking down kills regularly.
Tulgetske ended the night with eight kills while Claus ended with nine.
However, strong back row play from Hillman's libero Brice Kenyon and Jones kept the Tigers alive as did strong play of Jensen Tchorzynski, who had three aces, four kills and 11 digs for the night.
These plays helped keep Hillman in the game but continued strong serving by Lalonde, Brooklyn Idalski and Cassie Brege pulled Rogers City from a 9-8 deficit to a lead of 16-10.
Brege had 27 assists and seven digs on the night.
Hillman scored four points to Rogers City's nine in the remainder of the game to lose 25-14.
Quaine was excited about the win as it gave her girls another chance to face a tough opponent and rival: Onaway.
"The girls are so excited because they really want to get another shot at playing and beating Onaway," she said.
Rogers City also placed second at a Straits Area Conference tournament on Saturday. The Hurons lost their first two matches against Sault (25-23, 13-25 and 8-15) and Rudyard (26-24, 19-25 and 8-15), but won their third match against Newberry (25-6 and 25-12) and closed out the day with a win over St. Ignace (25-19 and 25-14).
The fourth match pitted Rogers City against Cheboygan who the Hurons beat in three games 25-23, 16-25 and 15-13.
Idalski had 68 assists while Claus had 35 kills and six blocks. Tulgetske had 25 kills while Sarah Meredith had 17.
Other big players for the tourney included Alexa Quaine with 13 kills, seven blocks and 30 digs, Lalonde with 37 digs, Rebecca Meredith with eight aces and Brege with an mpressive 85 assists.