2017-08-24 / Sports

Eagles Take Home Win at Munising Tourney

By Stephen King

Saturday, August 19, opened the volleyball season for many area teams. That day, teams from Engadine, Brimley, and Newberry ventured west to compete with seven other teams from the central Upper Peninsula in the annual preseason tourney in Munising.

Engadine ended the day with a tourney win that promises a fruitful season to come for fans of Engadine volleyball.

The 10 teams were broken into two pools. Pool A consisted of host Munising, Ishpeming, Newberry, Superior Central, and Mid- Pen. Pool B consisted of Engadine, Westwood, Brimley, Manistique, and the Munising junior varsity.

From the morning’s pool play, Newberry came out of Pool A with the best record, 6-2. Next was Munising, who picked up four wins and advanced. For Pool B, Manistique came out with a record of 7- 1, their only loss coming with a split against Engadine, who ended the day at 6-2, which got them a ticket to the semifinals.

This set up an interesting semifinal ladder. In the first games, it was Manistique taking on Munising. Then, in the second, it was Engadine taking on Newberry. Both of these teams are rivals. The rivalry between the Indians and Eagles is always fierce, with the two towns being about 15 miles apart, on opposite ends of M-117.

In the Manistique versus Munising match, it was Munising making easy work of the Lady Emeralds, taking them down in two sets, winning 25-14 and 25- 22.

The Engadine versus Newberry match saw Newberry taking a narrow 26-24 win over the Eagles, and in the next set, Engadine evening the score with a 25-20 win. This set up the third and final set. Both teams wanted this one and tensions were high. It seemed neither team could get a firm lead over the other. Both teams were at their best, with few unforced errors and many excellent plays both on offense and defense. Then, as the set came to a close, the score was tied at 11. After all day, it had come down to this. Engadine got the side out. Then, Sophia Vaughn got a nice serve down and the Eagles went up by two. Then, the two teams traded points and Engadine was up 14-12. The Lady Indians kept fighting back and notched another. But they could not keep the Eagles down and Engadine got the final point and took the win.

This set up a final between Newberry and tourney host Munising. The Mustangs came out strong, taking off to a lead in the first set. It looked as if they were going to make short work of the Eagles. Then, down 24-12, the Eagles got the side out and Eagle senior Megan Bell went to the line in what looked like an impossible task. Bell started dropping in serve after serve. With some aces and some significant help from teammates Aubrey Simmons, Gracie Oven, and Sophia Vaughn, the Eagles fought back. When they hit the 20 point mark, the Mustangs coach called time, to settle his team. The Eagles still kept charging and got two more to drop. Then, just in the nick of time for the Mustangs, the Mustangs took a point and won the match 25-22.

This had given Engadine a shot of momentum. They came out strong and took the next set 25-16. Still carrying the momentum from the Bell run, the Eagles were also able to win this set 15-12 and take the tourney.

Eagles Coach Kathy Miller said, “I’m really proud of the way the girls played today. This is a great way to start the season. But we still have a lot of work to do. This year, Rudyard will be in our conference and they will be the team to beat.”

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