The Mosinee volleyball team’s ability to close out games Tuesday kept it perfect in the Great Northern Conference.
Mosinee rallied late for wins in the first and third games — including scoring the final five points of the night — on its way to a 25-23, 25-19, 25-23 sweep of Medford, to improve to 3-0 in the GNC.
“That’s huge for us,” Mosinee coach Justin Jacobs said. “We’ve had some ups and downs this year, and to finish a game like that and come from behind is big, and hopefully is something that gets us moving forward,”
Both teams head into the first leg of the GNC tournament Saturday in Rhinelander. Mosinee, Tomahawk and Rhinelander all entered Tuesday undefeated in conference play.
“It’s early and we haven’t played some of the expected top teams (in the conference) yet, but we’ve taken care of business. That’s all you can ask for,” Jacobs said. “The girls have played hard and we’re starting to get stronger.”
Hannah Michlig had 37 assists and Aubree Antosch had 19 digs to lead a Mosinee team that hasn’t lost a game in the GNC, so far. Julie Kijak added 10 kills and Autumn Michlig and Liz Zuelke both chipped in with nine kills.
Mosinee rallied from a 16-10 deficit in Game 1, scoring the final three points to grab an early lead over the Raiders.
“We missed two clutch serves,” Medford coach Dave Vaara said. “In Game 1 we missed a clutch serve and in Game 3 we missed a clutch serve. When you’ve got the ball and you’re up one, you’ve got to make (the serves). You’ve got to perform under pressure, because (Mosinee) is a good team and when they get the ball back, they’re going to serve hard, and we didn’t serve-receive as good as we can.”
Kylie Christianson and Laney Handel both had five kills, and Christianson had a team-high 12 assists to lead the Raiders, who fell to 1-2 in the GNC. Brook Wibben had 12 digs and four aces, and Brooke Smola added 10 digs.
Medford jumped out to a 2-0 lead in Game 2, but Mosinee responded by winning 16 of the next 20 points to take control of the game. The Raiders closed to within six points, and fought off three game points before Zuelke put the game away with a kill.
“We’ve got some pretty strong servers on this team and when they get in somebody’s head, we can blow some games wide-open,” Jacobs said. “We’re strong enough offensively, as long as we stay disciplined defensively, to get those runs going.”
Vaara said his team has suffered lapses against opponents this season, and working to have more consistent play going forward.
“We gave them a fight and were close,” Vaara said. “We still have a ways to go and have a lot of potential on our team. We’re going to be OK. We just have to put Humpty Dumpty together. We started against Chi-Hi down 7-1, and started against Stanley-Boyd down 8-1, and almost won both of those games. Tonight we did it again, too.
“We just seem to get stuck in a rut (at times) and I don’t know what it is,” Vaara added. “I haven’t figured it out.”