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ROGERS CITY-The Rogers City volleyball team (26-8-1) faced North Star League foe Hillman (12-4, 6-2 North Star) on Tuesday and sweeping the Tigers in three sets, 25-10, 25-18 and 25-9, in a game that saw the Tigers struggle against the Hurons’ offense.
“We came over intimidated and we just came out slow and didn’t execute. (In the second set) Kalen was serving strong and we played confident off the serve. It was our serve receive today that was killing us. If we started out with the serve, we were fine,” Hillman coach Amy Moir said.
This was true when Kalen Tchorzynski served during eight straight points for the Tigers to go up 8-0 in the second set. Along the way, Tchorzynski picked up three aces while big sister Jensen Tchorzynski contributed two points with a tip and a spike.
Kalen Tchorzynski had 12 digs. Jensen Tchorzynski had nine kills and nine digs while Alissa Jones had six digs.
Rogers City picked up the ninth point and began its own scoring streak off the serves of Cassidy Purgiel. She served during six straight points, picking up two aces, to narrow the lead to 8-6 Hillman.
Purgiel had 13 aces on the night
The Tigers tried to pull away, taking a 10-7 lead, but the Hurons continued to catch up off the serves of Kayla Fleury and the attack of Jena Tulgetske. Gradually, the Hurons pulled to a 15-13 lead.
Tulgetske had five kills and three blocks.
Once the Hurons took the lead, they never lost it. Rogers City picked up its final point of the set off a two-count tip by Cassie Brege that took Hillman off guard.
The second set was as close as the Tigers got to winning. The first set opened with Purgiel serving during eight straight Hurons points to take an 8-0 lead. Purgiel picked up several aces along the way while Sarah Meredith picked up a kill.
Meredith had four kills for the night.
The Tigers couldn’t mount a successful counter attack. Hillman’s most successful counter came during the serves of Riley Appelgren, who served during three straight points to creep up on Rogers City 16-9.
Alexa Quaine scored a well-placed tip point to take a 17-9 lead, giving Rogers City the serve. The Hurons scored the next nine out of 10 points to take the set 25-10.
Quaine had four aces, three kills and eight digs. Cassie Brege had three kills and nine defensive digs. Megan Brege had 10 digs while Megan Quaine had eight digs.
The third set was very similar to the first. Purgiel served during six straight points, picking up a few aces and giving the Hurons a 6-0 lead.
The Tigers successfully swiped some points from the Hurons, with some precision tips from Eden Hunt and Grace Buck to inch closer, 8-5.
Any hope of a Hillman comeback was dashed during a 13-point scoring streak during the serves of Tulgetske that helped Rogers City pull ahead 21-5.
“The (servers) are just getting consistent now and they’re getting some spin on it. We got jump serving going on now, too. We’re going to need that kind of stuff if we’re going to come in and give Onaway any kind of run for their money,” Rogers City coach Jackie Quaine said.
Although the Tigers kept fighting to the end against the Hurons, it was too little too late as the Hurons won 25-9.
“I thought we played well together as a team, serving was excellent for us tonight, serve receive too was a positive for us. The hitters are really starting to come around. We’re keeping (our spikes) in, which is crucial,” Quaine said.
Hillman hosts Alcona on Thursday in its Pink Game. Rogers City hosts Au Gres on Tuesday.
Eric Benac can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.