Knocking em down
The Alpena volleyball team earned a bit of redemption on Monday.
Eleven days after blowing a 2-1 lead against Petoskey on the road, the Wildcats topped the Northmen in four sets on Monday at Alpena High School in a Big North Conference match, 25-21, 25-13, 25-16 and 25-21.
Alpena’s seniors led the way in the win with Taylor Genschaw, Logan Myers and Emma Strong combining for 41 kills.
“We kind of had a letdown for a couple of weeks in our season and now we’re picking it back up again, so it’s nice to get the conference win again and get some confidence behind the kids, especially with so many young players,” Alpena coach Melissa Doubek said. “We’re moving our feet more and hitting the ball and it’s encouraging to see improvement.”
Genschaw came up big in the final set with six of her 17 kills on the night. Alpena held a 15-11 lead midway through the set, but Petoskey battled back to tie the match at 15. After an Alpena timeout, Genschaw had two kills to give the Wildcats the lead for good.
“We just went down too much. We didn’t have the intensity on the attacks and the digs, so we had to pick that back up,” Doubek said of the timeout.
Petoskey pulled to within one point four different times before the end of the set, but Alpena managed to stay a step ahead. A kill and an ace from Jordan Modrzynski gave Alpena some breathing room with a 23-20 lead and after a Petoskey point, Alpena finished off the match.
Genschaw added 15 digs on the night. Myers had 13 kills and 20 digs. Strong had 11 kills. Modrzynski had five aces and five kills. Alexis Smith had 38 assists and Mikaela Overton had 19 digs.
The two teams played an even first set and Alpena rallied back from two early four-point deficits. After a kill from Petoskey’s Jamye Larson tied the set at 18, Alpena scored the next four points to pull away and Strong eventually capped the set with a tip.
Alpena stormed out to an 8-0 lead in the second set and didn’t run into much trouble from there. Petoskey finally gained the serve and scored four points, but Alpena responded by scoring the next six for a 14-4 lead, a streak which included kills from Genschaw, Strong and an ace from Myers.
“They were hitting the ball, they were digging the ball and we had good leadership tonight from them,” Doubek said of her seniors.
Those seniors came up big again at the end of the set as Myers delivered a tip, Genschaw had two aces and Strong had a kill.
Petoskey came out stronger in the third set and avoided a sweep with a stretch that included an early 7-3 lead and ending the set on a 7-0 run.
Alpena returns to action on Saturday at a tournament at Essexville-Garber.
Alpena’s JV team bested Petoskey in two sets, 25-21 and 25-10. Lindsey Moggie and Ashley Schwartz each had six kills and Elise Leeck had six aces.
The Wildcats freshmen team beat the Northmen 25-21, 25-15 and 16-25. Brooke Paczkowski had six aces and Katie Mack had five kills.
James Andersen can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.