Vikings fight back to win third straight league match

by Peter Jakey–Managing Editor

The Viking volleyball team treated the hometown fans to a come-from-behind victory Tuesday in an evenly matched battle with Au Gres.

Down 2-0, the squad came together to rally in the final three games, 25-13, 25-22 and 15-9. The score was 9-9 in the final set when the Vikings finished off the Wolverines with six straight points.

Kari Ataman served three aces on points 12, 14 and 15. Korynn Hincka also came up with two big kills during the final run.

“We played really hard, and I’m really happy that we won,” said Ataman.

“We didn’t show up until the third set,” said coach Erin Riopelle. “Granted, the first two sets were close in score, but we really didn’t play well.”

Posen (4-1 North Star League) had several chances to win the first set. The score was 25-24 when Posen touched the net to tie the score at 25-25. Moments later, Hincka’s kill made the score 27-26, but the Vikings ripped a serve long and that tied the score again. The lead flip flopped and the visitors took the first set and controlled the second, 20-25.

The third set started no better with bad hits and serves and a 4-1 deficit. The Vikes got on track and tied the score, and at 7-7, started to pull away with Austin Sharpe at the serving line, including an ace to make it 12-7.

The Wolverines then struggled with Anna Couture serving three straight aces for a 17-10 lead. Mercedes Kowalski rolled three aces herself for a commanding 21-11 advantage.

Set four was close midway through when a two-point lead, 16-14, turned to three with a Hincka kill. She got another kill for point No. 20 and a five-point lead. Au Gres made it interesting down the stretch and trailed 24-22 when they served a clunker to hand Posen the final point of set four.

In the finale, Kayla Lenard bumped a shot up and over to an empty spot on the Wolverine side for an 8-6 lead. Posen came out of an Au Gres timeout with three consecutive mistakes and gave the visitors a 9-8 lead before the Vikings final 6-0 rally.

Couture had 23 sets and Hincka had 13 kills. Danielle Rhode and Kowalski had five kills. Couture had four.

Last weekend, the Vikings traveled to the Grayling Invitational, and while they didn’t win a set they were competitive. “It’s always good for us to see different competition,” said Riopelle. “What was really good about that particular tournament is there are schools there, who are hsitorically good and have good programs.”

The scores at Atlanta last Thursday were 25-17, 25-16 and 25-6. Couture had 12 assists, while Ashley Meyers and Hincka had three aces. Hincka also had six kills.

The Vikings next match is at Fairview tonight.

The junior varsity started the night on a positive note with a win. The scores were 25-23, 27-25 and 13-15.

They swept Atlanta 25-16, 25-15 and 15-12.

Volleyball note: Ataman said the Spike Out Cancer game is Oct. 18. Details are still be finalized.