Cardinals sweep Snowbirds 3-0 in volleyball
Other then a serving mishap in Game 2, the Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball team had no trouble putting away rival Gaylord St. Mary in straight sets Tuesday at home.
The Cardinals (11-1, 2-0 SVC) topped the Snowbirds, 25-7, 25-17 and 25-14.
"Anytime we can add a win in the always-tough Ski Valley Conference, it's a feel-good situation," J-L coach Kristine Peppin said. "Hopefully, we can keep this momentum rolling in our conference and other games, too. The team has really been off to a hot start, and I hope that fire stays lit."
Tara Madej collected five of her team-high 10 kills in the opening set, which included the Cardinals grabbing an 18-5 lead early on.
However, seven service errors hurt J-L in the next set. St. Mary made it a 19-15 game, but Jamie Burke's kill got J-L back on track, and Amanda Korff served out the game, racking up two of her five team-high aces.
Four-point serving runs from both Arielle Vermilya and Jessie Marlatt pushed the Cardinals past St. Mary in the final set. The Snowbirds worked to keep it close, though.
"They kept popping it back at us, and we kept attacking until – finally – one would get through," Peppin said. "They were pretty scrappy, but our girls were just too much to handle.
"Another four-point run by Marlatt late in the game pushed the lead to 23-13, and Kylie Sietman put the exclamation point on the final point of the match with a solo block."
Marlatt led the offense with 17 assists, while Delaney Hogle and Alyce Vermilya each had five digs. Burke added five kills.
The Snowbirds, which fell to 2-10 overall, got seven digs from Megan Grusczynski and four kills from Kinzie Jeffers.
"I'm excited that the team is improving each and every day," coach Amy Handley said. "We are giving 100%. Once we shore up a few things, we will really be competing and in the game.
"We had too many serve-receive and unforced errors. With that any errors, we were always playing defense. When we get the ball to the setting target, we have success and can start to run our offense and make it harder on the opposing team."
Handley said she's encouraged with how well St. Mary fought against a veteran team like J-L.
"We are going to keep plugging away and continue to improve," the first-year coach said. "We need to become more disciplined as a team. We are working on it, and I am excited to see where we go from here."
Cardinals, Snowbirds each pick up wins Tuesday night
The Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball team is off to its best start in Kristine Peppin’s 11 seasons as coach.
The Cardinals are 10-1 overall and now 1-0 to open Ski Valley play after beating host Forest Area 3-1 on Tuesday night. They’ll likely be ranked once the Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association releases its third poll in a few days.
“As solid as we are in this early season, they’re among the best teams I’ve had,” Peppin said. “This has been among the best we’ve done in the early season. We’ve had teams that have turned it on late in the season. But this group is producing those results now, and I’m happy with them going at it like this.”
J-L grabbed a 17-10 lead in the opening set but defensive mistakes and errors allowed the Warriors to storm back and steal the win.
“Errors consumed us,” said Peppin, whose Cardinals relied on their serving to get their offense going in the ensuing three sets.
Game 2 saw Arielle Vermilya (eight aces, nine digs) go on six-point serving run, while Jessie Marlatt (four aces, 32 assists) put together a five-point run as well.
Tara Madej excelled in the next set, recording seven of her team-high 19 kills. The junior, who also finished with five aces, came up big at the end to preserve the 25-18 victory, despite Forest Area making it an 18-18 tie at one point.
Marlatt’s seven-point run in the final game sealed the win, while Jamie Burke and Alyce Vermilya collected eight and seven kills, respectively, on the night. Delaney Hogle contributed 12 digs.
“We were able to string together a lot of points in a row,” Peppin said. “That made it comfortable for our hitters, and they were able to be relaxed when we were serving so well. They (Forest Area) had difficulties setting up their offense. They kept giving us free balls back."
J-L volleyball team wins tournament at home
Thanks to an epic comeback against Cedarville, the Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball team went undefeated on the day, winning its own tournament Aug. 29.
The Cardinals beat the Trojans 26-20 and 25-17 in the championship game, but they needed everything they had to beat Cedarville in pool play.
J-L, which topped Gaylord. St. Mary 26-19 and 25-16, Mio 25-16 and 26-20 and Lincoln Alcona 25-16 and 25-15, trailed 18-9 to the Trojans but managed to trim its deficit to 24-21 and then knot the score and go on to win, 26-24. Alyce Vermilya served the final four points, and a kill from Jamie Burke sealed the victory. J-L also topped Cedarville 25-17 in the other set to go 10-0 in each respective set.
"I give the team a lot of credit for keeping their cool and continuing to fight in every game down to the final points – especially in the first pool play game vs. Cedarville," coach Kristine Peppin said.
Burke dominated with 26 kills, 14 aces and 11 digs, followed by Jessie Marlatt with 86 assists, 13 digs and eight aces and Tara Madej with 43 kills, 12 aces and four blocks. Also contributing were Alyce Vermilya with 12 kills and 19 digs, Amanda Korff with 11 digs and 10 aces, Arielle Vermilya with 15 kills and 21 digs and Delaney Hogle with 16 digs.
"Jessie saved her best serving of the day for the championship match – along with some incredible diving saves at key moments by both Alyce and Arielle," Peppin said. "Amanda was excellent from the serving stripe, serving 100% in 3 of the matches on the day and making excellent passes on serve-receive consistently."
Burke notched eight of her aces – as well as 19 of her serving points – against rival St. Mary.
"Stellar serving on the day from multiple players made the biggest difference today," Peppin continued." Not many of the teams we faced were able to set up much offense off of our serving. We were then able to transition easily off the free ball to put down kill after kill.
"Jessie did a great job as always of mixing up the hits, ensuring the defenders were always on their toes. It was super to watch the team rise up when they were challenged in games and cruise to some victories in others."
St. Mary lost all of its matches. Gracie Blust tallied nine kills, and Kinzie Jeffers had 10 digs.
"I saw more improvement with the team," St. Mary coach Amy Handley said. "We were communicating much better and were trying to attack more often."
Guess which J-L volleyball player made it into the MHSAA record books
Jamie Burke is the second-tallest player on the Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball team at 5-foot-9. Only Tara Madej (5-10) stands taller.
Yet Burke’s height near the net had nothing to do with her success during a match Monday against Fairview.
The Cardinals dropped the Eagles 25-10 and 25-4, led by the junior’s effort at the service line. She served 13 aces and accounted for 23 points, cementing her place in the MHSAA record books as a player who has served 10 or more aces in a match.
Burke trails only one other player in J-L’s own record book, as Melissa Carroll served 15 aces against rival Gaylord St. Mary in 2009.
“Burke has a wicked serve, and I’m very proud of her for earning this recognition — especially so early in the season,” coach Kristine Peppin said. “I’ve had a lot of great players over the years, but only a select few (three) have achieved MHSAA serving records in the last 10 years.”
“Serving has consistently been a strength of our team, and Jamie exemplified it tonight.”
Madej and Burke had six and four kills, respectively, and Jessie Marlatt finished with 11 assists.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals, earlier in the night they suffered their first loss of the season, losing 25-18 and 25-14 to Manton, giving them a 4-1 record overall.
Madej and Alyce Vermilya each contributed five kills, Marlatt had 17 assists and Arielle Vermilya collected 11 digs.
“Too many hitting errors cost us a lot of points against them,” Peppin said. “We gave up 16 points in hitting errors alone. They also blocked well, and we didn’t recover fast enough to keep at it.”
By Brandon Folsom - Gaylord Herald Times
The Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball team is 3-0 to open the season, and it has its seven veteran players to thank for it.
The Cardinals’ two- and three-year players had no trouble ensuing they downed host Coleman, Lincoln Alcona and Evart in a quad Friday night. The squad lost just one set — 25-21 to the Tigers — but dominated for pretty much the rest of the opener.
“We controlled the tempo and scoreboard or much of all three matches,” coach Kristin Peppin said. “The few times we were behind, they kept their composure and played aggressively, and that made all the difference.”
Jamie Burke served six of her seven aces against Coleman to begin the quad, and then Jessie Marlatt, who recorded 11 aces, scored 14 of her 32 points in the ensuing match against Alcona. Arielle Vermilya got six of her sevens aces vs. Evart in the finale.
They were just as tough digging up balls, led by Alyce Vermilya with 27 and her twin sister, Arielle, with 24.
“We’ve been working at length daily on serve-receive, and it seems to be paying off,” Peppin said. “There were a number of times a perfect pass off of serve-receive led directly to a slamming kill by one of the hitters.”
“One of my goals for this season to have them be outstanding passes, especially on serve-receive. The team has shown some real potential for deadly hits when they can get Jessie a good pass.”
Tara Madej led with 22 kills, while Burke added 15. Marlatt also had 53 assists.
“Between Jamie and Tara at middle (hitter), Arielle and Alyce at outside (hitter) and Amanda and Kylie at the right side, we had quite the hitting lineup at any given time,” Peppin said. “I’m really excited to see what these girls can achieve this season.”
The Cardinals hope to build on an undefeated start to their season when they host Fairview and Manton for a triangular Monday.
“We have a few kinks to work out,” Peppin said. “But I was very pleased with our first competition.
These 3 players have already impressed J-L's volleyball coach
JOHANNESBURG — On Wednesday, the Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball team got a preview of what’s to come this season.
The Cardinals hosted a four-team scrimmage in their own gym, bringing in rival Gaylord St. Mary, Grayling and Mio.
Coach Kristine Peppin walked away impressed with the following three players:
Madej is now the go-to hitter
• Server Jessie Marlatt’s primary option will likely be hitter Tara Madej, a junior who enters her third season as a varsity player.
“Her quick hits and well-placed shots were very effective (tonight) as well as some of her truly wicked serves,” Peppin said. “We’re expecting big things from her this season in what could be her real breakout junior year.”
Marlatt looking to be in mid season form
• Marlatt — the 2018 Gaylord Herald Times Player of the Year — deceived opponents with her setting a year ago. And her serving was just as efficient.
Now the senior is hoping to end her career with a bang once the season gets rolling. She looked pretty good at the scrimmage.
“Jessie’s serving was deadly as expected,” Peppin said. “Look for her to be one of the top scorers in the area as well as racking up a ton of aces to go at the MHSAA record books.”
“Her consistent sets really help our more inexperienced players get some good looks at the ball on offense. She’s put in a lot of time on the court already and it shows.”
Hogle, from rookie to clutch libero in only 1 year
• Delaney Hogle played on the varsity as a freshman last year because of her stellar defense.
Now that stellar defense will likely nab her the starting libero position as the team’s top defender — replacing now-graduated Katie Kobylczak, an All-Area honorable mention last fall.
“She is showing a lot of promise there already,” Peppin said of Hogle. “With a year of varsity already under her belt, she is poised to shine with an even larger role on defense. She’s not afraid to go after the ball, and she made several diving plays tonight.
The Cardinals open the season Friday at Coleman.
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