Resilient Hornets close out Harbor Springs in three sets | Sports

HARBOR SPRINGS — Early-season rankings are notoriously unpredictable, but so far the Pellston volleyball team is looking the part.

Fresh off battling Class A and B schools at the Mount Morris Invite over the weekend, the eighth-ranked team in Class D swept another larger foe on Tuesday, beating host Harbor Springs 25-8, 25-23, 25-20 to improve to 7-3-4 overall.

The Hornets rolled to a win in the first set, but also weathered a big comeback by the Rams in the second set and held off a strong start by Harbor Springs in the third, showing their resilience.

“Even if an opponent puts together a run, this group of girls is really good about buckling down and making the play needed to stop it,” Pellston coach Brooke Groff said. “They never give up or get down on each other, and that’s one of their best qualities.”

Mariah Redding led Pellston with seven kills, and Cammie Krueger and Kristy Robinson chipped in five kills apiece, while Kaitlyn Bricker added 20 assists.

Billie Lalonde led the Hornets with 10 aces, and Lydia Greenman chipped in eight digs defensively, with Bricker adding seven and Lalonde and Redding each chipping in five.

Harbor Springs also showed resiliency, bouncing back from a blowout loss in the first set to give the Hornets a fight in the second and third sets.

With just two players on the roster with varsity experience this year, that fight is encouraging for coach David Thom, who returns from a year absence to retake the head job with the Rams.

“That’s really great to see, and it’s something you hope your girls have as a coach,” Thom said. “This is an incredibly young team, and one that’s still learning my system and what I want to see them doing on the floor.

“We’re making progress every day, but it’s going to take some time, and we just have to keep working.”

Freshmen Madeline McShannock and Morgan Pemberton led the Rams in kills and blocks with three and two, respectively, junior Kara Adams finished with six assists and senior Anna Wemigwase added five aces.

Harbor Springs is off until next Tuesday, when the Rams host Charlevoix in a Lake Michigan Conference opener, while Pellston is off until the Petoskey Invite on Sept. 9.

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