2016-09-15 / Sports

Comets, Norse extend winning streaks

By Jay Bushen
Of The Enterprise staff

SUTTONS BAY players are all smiles after scoring a point in the second set of Tuesday night’s sweep of Onekama. SUTTONS BAY players are all smiles after scoring a point in the second set of Tuesday night’s sweep of Onekama. One step at a time.

One punch at a time.

One round at a time.

Rocky Balboa’s boxing philosophy in “Creed,” a sequel to the six-film “Rocky” franchise, spoke to first-year Suttons Bay coach Kelly Mokanyk.

“It’s not about the game,” Mokanyk said. “It’s about every pass in practice, every serve in practice.”

The No. 8 Lady Norse had plenty of time to practice during a recent two-week hiatus, and they came out swinging with the eye of the tiger in their home opener on Tuesday — the first conference match of the Mokanyk era.

Kyra Vezina led a balanced attack as the Lady Norse pushed their win streak to seven games by knocking out conference newcomer Onekama in three rounds (25-11, 25-16, 25-7).

Vezina tallied team highs with nine kills and four aces. Alauna Oskaboose and Alayna Torrey added six kills apiece. Jessica Christianson and Grace Periard combined for 31 assists.

“The girls are working on harnessing their butterflies,” Mokanyk said of her team (12-1-4, 1-0 NWC). “That’s what I tell them is the difference between Olympians and us: Olympians know how to harness that adrenaline and hit harder, swing faster. I’m trying to teach them to embrace those butterflies.”

No. 3 Leland (11-5-1, 2-0 NWC), meanwhile, continues to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.

The Comets won their fourth straight match Tuesday, sweeping Buckley in straight sets (25-4, 25-17, 25-15).

Allie Martin led Leland with nine kills, seven digs and three aces. Hanna Elwell finished with five kills and two aces while Julie Bardenhagen added seven digs and three aces.

Coach Laurie Glass said she played six sophomores in the second set and six upperclassmen in the third, rotating players into unfamiliar positions.

“It allowed kids to compete just play the game of volleyball, and be outside their comfort zone,” Glass said.

The Comets, who will unveil their 2015 Class D championship board when Kingsley comes to town on Tuesday, also picked up an impressive pair of victories in a tri-meet at Traverse City Central on Monday, sweeping Central (25-19, 29-27) and Traverse City St. Francis (25-18, 25-20).

Martin tallied a team-high 17 kills in the pair of victories, adding 13 digs and four aces, while Rowan Wilson came through with 14 kills and 14 digs. Ella Siddall distributed 33 assists, adding six digs and an ace.

Glass was pleased to see her team take down a pair of strong Traverse City programs but saw room for improvement.

“I don’t think we played particularly well the whole night but clearly well enough to win,” she said. “Our defense is pretty good, but we’re making a lot of errors offensively. Kids are thinking a lot as opposed to just playing.”

Playing seven matches on Saturday was another Northwest Conference team from Leelanau County, Glen Lake (5-10-0, 0-1 NWC).

The Lady Lakers posted a 3-3 record in pool play at the Pine River Invitational before losing to top-seeded McBain (25- 5, 25-12).

“We are making positive strides as we continue with the season,” said Glen Lake coach Liz Moeggenberg. “We aren’t allowing the ball to drop as much without effort and our confidence is improving. The girls are learning what it takes to leave it all on the court and we will continue to work hard every day and get better.”

Mallory Lund led offensively as Glen Lake recorded wins against Big Rapids Crossroads (27-25, 25-21), Manistee (26-24, 25-16) and Marion (25-17, 25-11) in pool play.

Losses came against Pine River (25- 22, 25-23), Benzie Central (25-22, 25-14) and McBain (25-13, 25-13).

Lund finished with 15 kills, 21 digs and four aces. Kaitlyn Schaub tallied 12 kills and seven aces. Morgan Zywicki recorded 13 kills and 10 digs. Hanna VanDuzen added 40 assists, 12 digs and five aces. Hailie Tondreau had 41 digs and nine aces.

The Lakers play at Mesick today; Leland will compete in the Cadillac Invitational on Saturday; Suttons Bay will host Buckley on Tuesday.

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