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Strong serving leads Posen past Vanderbilt

News Photo by James Andersen Posen’s Ava Wesner bumps the ball during a district semifinal against Vanderbilt on Wednesday. Posen served 25 aces on the way to a sweep of the Yellowjackets. Posen will face Onaway in Thursday’s district final.

HILLMAN–Playing to its strengths paid off big for the Posen volleyball team on Wednesday.

Mia Newhouse had 10 aces, Makayla Kamyszek added eight and Posen served up 25 on the way to a sweep of Vanderbilt in a Division 4 district semifinal at Hillman High School.

Posen won 25-13, 25-12 and 25-8 and will play Onaway at 6 p.m., in Thursday’s district final in Hillman.

Buoyed by long stretches where the Yellowjackets had no answer for their serves, the Vikings used long scoring stretches to easily pull away.

Riley Krajniak added five aces in the win and Abigail Schellie had two.

“(With) my girls, serving has been their strong suit all season long. Mia (Newhouse) did phenomenal tonight as a freshman playing in her first district game; to come out and have 10 aces in this game was just phenomenal,” Posen coach Michelle Mulka-Styma said.

Both teams played even to start the match, but Newhouse picked off Posen’s strong night at the serving line, serving for nine points during a run that included four aces. Late in the match, Elizabeth Romel served the last six points of the match, including a pair of aces.

The Yellowjackets briefly got out to a 5-3 lead in the second set, but with Kamyszek at the serving line Posen pulled away again. During a run where she served 11 straight points, Kamyszek ran off a string of five straight aces as Posen took the lead for good and led 14-5 after the run. Kamyszek caught fire again to end the match, serving up three more aces as Posen scored the last last six points of the set.

“It feels great to win a playoff game. The girls have had kind of a rough season as far as wins and losses go,” Mulka-Styma said. “To come in and win a district semifinal game feels really good and the girls were real excited in the locker room after the game.”

Schellie finished the night with a kill and two aces; Madison Menzel had nine kills and a block; Kamyszek had eight aces, five kills and two assists; Krajniak had four kills, two assists and five aces; Newhouse had 10 aces and three assists and Ava Wesner had three assists.

Newhouse helped Posen get out to a 9-3 lead early in the third set, serving three aces during a 7-0 run. A short time later, it was Schellie who confounded the Yellowjackets from the serving line, pushing Posen’s lead to 15-6.

Up next for Posen is a familiar opponent in Onaway. The two teams faced off last week in the Presque Isle Championships with Onaway emerging victorious: 25-4, 25-13 and 15-4.

Mulka-Styma knows the Vikings will face a tough test on Thursday and said her team will have to play more efficiently if it hopes to win.

“We need to prepare to hit the ball more and cover up the block. We weren’t doing enough to cover the block and we weren’t hitting the ball enough,” Mulka-Styma said. “My girls need to learn to attack the ball more, set up the ball more and play off that block.”