The Moose Lake-Willow River Rebels went the distance to nip the McGregor Mercuries in five games in Moose Lake on Thursday, September 19. The game scores were 19-25, 25-11, 25-23, 26-28 and 15-13.
Karina Cisar paced the Rebels with 16 kills. Adri Jusczak had 13 kills and Jolene Eaton added six kills and 10 digs. Jodi Michalski had seven kills. Andrea Youngberg had seven digs. Nikki Grutkoski had 23 set assists and five digs and Lauren Ross added 19 set assists.
Abigail Hawkinson went over the 1,000 set assist mark for the Mercuries during the match.
Cisar killed to begin game one. Hawkinson dug, but it was Cisar with a smack off a block. Gretchen Grams killed for the Mercuries and a bad pass went against the Rebels, but McGregor suffered the same fate. Kayla Radel served for MLWR and Jusczak set Cisar. Cisar and Jusczak combined on a block for 5-3.
McGregor's Kendra Mickelson tipped. Jusczak smartly tipped as the block was up. Jusczak netted an attempt, but followed with a kill. McGregor's Sydney Jensen fanned for 8-5, Rebels. Radel was wide. Youngberg made two nice digs, but MLWR was in the net. Hawkinson got her 1,000th set assist. MLWR's Haley Johnson was long from the middle, but McGregor erred on serve; Jensen killed for 10-8 and the Rebels countered. McGregor's Korinna Mickelson killed for 11-10.
Cisar got a soft kill to the middle, but Amy Gelhar killed off a block for 13-12, as did Grams and Kendra Mickelson tipped. McGregor blew a pass, Kendra Mickelson killed off a block and the Rebels hit wide to tie it 15-15. Kendra Mickelson hit long for 16-15. McGregor suffered a service error, but the Rebels failed to pass. Ross netted an attempt and Johnson missed from the middle. Down 16-19, the Rebels called time. Gelhar aced and Jensen blocked. Eaton was called under the net and Jensen killed for 23-16. Radel hit wide on a cross court attempt for 24-16, McGregor. Four hits went on McGregor. Radel roofed Korinna Mickelson and with Korinna Mickelson netting an attempt, McGregor called time at 19-24. Korinna Mickelson crunched the game-winner for 25-19, Mercuries, off a double block.
Grutkoski served and McGregor missed wide. Cisar blocked a McGregor tip and a Grams attempt down the line was called just wide for 5-4. Radel blocked and McGregor was in the net. McGregor and Radel hit long. Ross set Youngberg, but the point went to McGregor. Rebel Dana Olson got the kill and Radel aced. Michalski and the Rebels went for 11-7.
With Cisar killing, the Mercuries called time, down 7-12. McGregor hit long and Cisar blocked for 14-7. Ross set Cisar. The Rebels miscommunicated on pass for 15-8. Youngberg killed for 16-6. Cisar and Jusczak blocked Grams. With Gelhar hitting wide and down 9-18, McGregor called time.
Johnson dug and Jusczak killed. Cisar got an easy one to poke down for 20-9. Grutkoski set Jusczak for a tip and 21-9. McGregor failed to pass a good serve by Youngberg before Grams killed for 10-23. McGregor netted a tip try and pushed a tip wide for 10-24. Gelhar killed, but it was Jusczak with a tip for the win at 25-11.
McGregor erred on serve to start game three and Grams hit long. Radel aced before Kendra Mickelson killed. Gelhar hit a cross courter, but Jusczak got a give-me to put down and Youngberg aced. Grams got two kills for 4-6.
Cisar killed and Youngberg dug. Johnson hit wide and Gelhar killed around a block. Eaton killed and Johnson dug before four hits went on the Rebels for 10-8. Eaton killed, but a Rebel got out. With Korinna Mickelson killing and MLWR’s lead down to just 11-10, the Rebels called time.
Youngberg got blocked to tie it at 11-11 and Kendra Mickelson killed and Hawkinson aced. Four hits went on McGregor. Korinna Mickelson killed, but Ross set Cisar and another Rebel kill followed. Johnson dug, but Eaton was long. Gelhar pushed to the side. Youngberg killed and Cisar smacked against a double block to knot it at 16-16 before a service error and Grams tipped, but a service error followed. A log volley ended with a bad pass by McGregor, but Grams tipped for 19-18. With Cisar being called in net on a block attempt and the Rebels down 18-20, MLWR called time.
Radel tipped and then killed for 20-20. Eaton put a cross court shot right on the line for 21-20 and the Mercuries called time. Michalski killed and Radel tipped for 23-20 before Jensen killed. The Rebels miscommunicated and Hawkinson hit for 23-23. Michalski made it game point with a solid kill and down 23-24, McGregor called time. Korinna Mickelson netted her attempt and with the 25-23 win, MLWR went up two games to one.
A Grams kill and one bad set followed by two good sets by Grutkoski to Cisar and Jusczak started game four. Jusczak was called twice in the net and with Grams and Gelhar each killing and MLWR down 2-6, it was time out. Grams tipped and so did Jusczak. McGregor missed with Radel up on the block. Gelhar killed and a push went wide for 5-8. Ross traded an ace for an error and Korinna Mickelson killed. McGregor pushed to the side and Ross set Michalski for the kill on the backline, Eaton erred on serve but so did Hawkinson for 8-12. Korinna Mickelson killed and Stacia Staska aced.
Cisar and Youngberg killed and Grutkoski aced as MLWR battled back to 11-14.
Jusczak and Kendra Mickelson traded tips for 15-12 and the Rebels miscommunicated on a hit into the ceiling. Kendra Mickelson killed and with her tipping, MLWR called down 12-18. Gelhar pushed long, but the Rebels erred on serve before Korinna Mickelson netted a kill try. Jusczak made a nice set to Radel to rip, but he next try was netted for 15-20. With Jusczak and Eaton each killing, the Mercuries called with their lead having melted to 20-17. Gelhar killed but erred on serve for 21-18. A carry was called and Radel blocked for 20-21. Youngberg killed and the return was wide on Eaton’s nice jump serve to prompt a McGregor time-out at 21-22. A point went to the Mercuries as Youngberg got blocked, but Michalski tipped for 23-22.
Michalski and Cisar roofed a Mercury, but Korinna Mickelson killed for 24-24; McGregor committed a service error, but Hawkinson put up a sweet set for Kendra Mickelson to crunch for 25-25. A bad pass went on the Rebels for 26-15, McGregor. Jusczak tipped for 26-26, but then netted a tip and hit long for 28-26 to knot the match at 2-2.
Grutkoski erred on serve and Korinna Mickelson got an ace. Cisar killed a cross courter and blocked Grams. Eaton killed and Jusczak tipped before Grams tipped for 3-4. Cisar hit out and McGregor blew a pass, but Johnson erred on serve for 5-5.
Eaton killed and Radel blocked. Gelhar hit to the corner for 6-7. Michalski tipped and Jensen killed. Korrina kill tied it at 8-8 and Youngberg hit long. Down 8-9, the Rebels called time. Michalski an Korinna Mickelson traded kills. Cisar killed through a double block and with Grutkoski acing for 10-11, McGregor called time.
Grutkoski aced again, but Grams tipped. McGregor's Rachel Sather pushed to the side for 12-12. Grutkoski set Cisar, but Gelhar hit down the line for 13-13. It ended as Kendra Mickelson erred on serve and McGregor failed to pass at 15-13. The Rebels, with the hard-fought 3-2 victory, had gotten quite a battle from the Mercuries.