By JON YOUNG
For The Daily News
ROCK- It wasn't the start they were looking for, but a strong finish was key as North Central defeated Mid Peninsula 3-1 (16-25, 26-24, 25-21, 25-16) in volleyball on Monday.
Jon Young/Daily Press Press
North Central’s Paige Whitens (8) looks to hit past the block of Mid Peninsula’s Kelsey Shope (12) during Monday’s match.
"We started off really rough," said Jets head coach Andy DeBock. "The girls got a little bit down on themselves, missed a couple of serves. After a game-and-a-half they got the motivation going, they got the routine going. There was really no stopping them."
The Wolverines jumped out to an early lead, taking the first set 25-16, keyed by an eight-point service run from Elle Lancour, that gave Mid Peninsula a 23-14 lead.
Wolverines head coach Traci Lyle said her team has struggled early in matches this season and Monday's performance was encouraging.
"The first set we came out strong and that first set is usually the set were lacking in so I was happy," Lyle said. "We played to the final point for all the sets. I didn't feel like there was any point where I needed to sub anybody in or out."
Mid Peninsula (0-9) strong play from the first set carried over as they lead the Jets 17-11 in the second game. After trimming the Wolverines lead to 21-18, North Central went on a five point run before closing out the game with a kill from Paige Whitens and a service point from Audra Granquist.
"They finally found their momentum, they got out of their little bit of a slump and then they just never looked back," DeBock said. "They found their timing, they started hitting, they started swinging and nobody let up."
The Jets (4-3) rode their momentum into the third and fourth sets, where they won 25-21 and 25-16 respectively. North Central got a big boost from Paige Whitens who had 21 kills, six digs, two aces and one block on the night.
"Paige is good, she gets up there, she gets angles and you can't be everywhere," Lyle said. "She's a really good player and she's hard to cover."
Part of what made covering Whitens difficult is how DeBock and the Jets offense featured the senior.
"We started going back to how we originally started the season with Paige," DeBock said. "We started hitting her everywhere. When she's in the back row we're going to give her 10's, when she's in the front row were going to try to key off her and she's a big player."
The Jets Morgan Wells also added nine aces, three kills, three digs and a block. Kennedy Faccio had 22 assists, two aces, two digs and a kill, while RayAnn Ford had four digs and three aces. Kelsey LaBonte also chipped in three kills and a dig.
The Wolverines were paced by Kelsey Shope's five digs, four kills and four aces. Hunter Branstrom also added four digs, three kills and two blocks. Elle Lancour contributed eight digs and seven aces, while Marissa Westlund added 12 digs and one ace. Christina Hanson had three digs and two aces, while Carly Hansen added five digs.
Mid Peninsula is back in action on Thursday as they host Superior Central. North Central takes the court again tonight, as they host Bark River-Harris and Carney-Nadeau.