KINGSFORD - Kingsford volleyball coach Steve Andrews, returning to the varsity post after the departure of Mandie Meyer for an assistant job at Northern Michigan, has seen marked improvement in his young team so far this season.
"The girls are coming together," he said. "Passing (on Tuesday) was much improved from Saturday's invite. Sammie Lindeman is improving daily as a setter, and she did a great job for us Tuesday."
The Flivvers won both matches they played Tuesday evening, beating Norway and Niagara.
Theresa Proudfit/The Daily News Photo
Kingsford’s Maria Wiltzius (12) and Emily Murdock (3) go up for a block against Hancock during the volleyball invite held at Iron Mountain High School Saturday.
"In the Niagara match, we attacked the ball well and it was two really good games for us," Andrews said. "We started strong in game one against Norway and then put the cruise control on for game two. Game three urgency kicked in and they finished the deal.
"Emily Murdock and Sammie Zander attacked well from the outside. Amber Larson had a good night passing for us. Maria Wiltzius and Lauren Smith anchored the middle with some solid kills and timely blocks. Lillian Slajus attacked well from the right side and anchored the block, while Annika Erickson had some great swings on the right side."
The Flivvers captured the Great Northern Conference title last season and went on to a district crown as well.
Seven seniors departed from that squad, including GNC Player of the Year Carlee Benzie.
The season continues tonight at Stephenson.
SENIOR - Lauren Smith, Lillian Slajus, Sarah Kleikamp
JUNIOR - Emily Murdock, Sammie Zander, Maria Wiltzius, Amber Larson, Annika Erickson, Sammie Lindeman, Lacey Walsh, Abby Michaud, Bonnie Huse, Erica Ellis.
Knights under new coach
NORWAY - Norway, under first-year head coach Kayla DeBakker, shows a varsity volleyball roster of 13 players this fall.
"We have four seniors returning from last year, and they are a very big part of our team," DeBakker said.
In addition to the four seniors, Norway has nine juniors. Brandi Strong is a returning varsity letter winners, while a couple other of the juniors saw some varsity time last season.
Norway lost three seniors to graduation. Top on that list was Bailey Grayvold, an all-conference first team selection.
Norway's lineup on the floor will include seniors Lexi Negro as setter and Leah Mattson in the middle. Junior Jacey Bal is listed as the team's libero. Outside hitters include Senior Hannah Anderson and juniors Paige Sheski, Brooke Teafoe, Lindsey DeBernardi and Strong.
Norway continues its season Tuesday at Gwinn.
"I'm excited for my first season with these girls," DeBakker said. "I know it's going to be a good one!"
SENIOR - Krista Urbanc, Lexi Negro, Hannah Anderson, Leah Mattson.
JUNIOR - Jacey Bal, Brenda Casanova, Paige Sheski, Brooke Teafoe, Samantha Schultz, Lindsey DeBernardi, Brandi Strong, Lane Broden, Sarah Bietila.