Brooke Demmith of Menominee hustles for a dig against Gladstone during their match Monday night at Menominee High School. Demmith had three digs.<br>EagleHerald/Tom Kaeser
Brooke Demmith of Menominee hustles for a dig against Gladstone during their match Monday night at Menominee High School. Demmith had three digs.
EagleHerald/Tom Kaeser
MENOMINEE - A hard-fought five-game loss to Menominee on its home floor Sept. 24 lit a fire under Gladstone heading into Monday's rematch with the Maroons.
The Braves hit the court with intensity and primed for a payback and handed Menominee its first Great Northern Conference loss in a stunning 25-18, 25-23, 25-16 sweep.
"I am frustrated with the play tonight," coach Sarah Betzinger said. "They girls were flat tonight. We had some good hits, but overall couldn't get the ball to hit the floor enough."
The Maroons (6-1 GNC) had swept four of their previous six GNC matches.
"The girls were ready tonight," Gladstone coach Liz Gendron said. "We've been working on our serving and hitting aggressively."
Gladstone (3-3 GNC) never gave up the lead in the three games.
The Braves were the more aggressive team from the opening serve, opening up an 11-5 lead in the first game. A spike kill by Jessica Beaudry, an ace from Kenly Milam and the spot-on setting of Callie Jensen set the tone and Lexi Hongisto sealed the first game with a spike kill.
"Callie Jensen really did a good job of running the offense," Gendron said of her senior setter. "She was the offensive star tonight. She set it up where they weren't expecting it."
Menominee rallied to tie the game at 18 but Hongisto sparked a three-point surge by the Braves.
Brooke Janquart rocketed an ace past the Braves to even the game at 22, but a sideout swung the lead back to Gladstone and a Beaudry kill gave the Braves a 24-22 lead. A serve into the net opened the door for the Maroons, but Menominee promptly let the opening slip away with a serve into the net.
Hongisto had an ace and Katie Belonga rejected a Maroon hit with a block kill to lead Gladstone to a 12-1 lead in the final game.
An ace from Samantha Krah spurred an 8-2 Maroon run, but Milan stalled the flurry with an ace and Aird's cross-court hit hiked the lead back to 18-9.
Gendron noted that the play of Demeuse at libero has been a key to the Braves' improvement.
Allia Stewart led the Maroons with eight points and she added nine digs and two kills, while Paige Barrette had six points, including an ace, four digs and two kills.
Madison Blom had nine assists, and Maddy Anderla had four points, four digs, two assists and four kills.
Amanda Pedersen collected two points, including an ace, three digs and five kills, Krah finished with two aces an five digs, Janquart had two points, including an ace, two digs and a team-high 30 assists. Brooke Demmith had three digs and Amanda Simmons had two kills, a block, a dig and an assist.
"We'll go back and regroup to get ready for Marquette Thursday," said Betzinger.