Menominee’s Amanda Pedersen gets a tip kill past Escanaba’s Tara Strahl during their Class B district semifinal game Wednesday night. <br>EagleHerald/Tom Kaeser
Menominee’s Amanda Pedersen gets a tip kill past Escanaba’s Tara Strahl during their Class B district semifinal game Wednesday night.
EagleHerald/Tom Kaeser
MENOMINEE - Coach Sarah Betzinger's tournament mantra for the Menominee volleyball team is "Move, Talk and Hit."

The Maroons followed their coach's lead and moved on to the Class B district title match with a 25-17, 25-13, 25-15 sweep over Escanaba Wednesday night.

Menominee will play host to Houghton for the district title Friday at 6 p.m. The Gremlins defeated Gladstone Wednesday night.

Menominee had swept the Eskymos twice during the regular season but there was no letup for the heavily-favored Maroons.

"I'm really pleased with the way we played," said Betzinger. "This is a very determined group of girls, especially after they had to share the conference title."

A block kill by Amanda Simmons and a push point by Maddy Anderla helped spike the Maroons to a 9-3 lead in the first game.

Ashley Cook's ace chipped the margin to 9-5, but Menominee countered with a four-point run to build its lead 14-6.

Tara Strahl, Kamile Fritz and Aalysiah Spencer pulled Esky within 14-10 and the Eskymos held the Maroons to a four- to five-point edge until an Anderla ace highlighted a four-point closing surge.

Esky took a 3-0 lead in the second game before Allia Stewart cranked off a pair of aces to ignite an 11-4 flurry. Paige Barrette stung the Eskymos from the serve line with three aces to jack the margin to 15-7 and Amanda Pedersen's tip kill sealed the second win.

An ace from Brooke Janquart, Anderla's perfectly-placed hit down the sideline, a pair of kills by Pedersen, and another ace from Barrette propelled the Maroons to a 14-3 lead in the third game.

Esky managed to close the margin to 17-8 before the Maroons lashed back with two aces from Stewart, a Simmons tip kill and back-to-back aces from Barrette to bring Menominee to match point. Pedersen's push shot found the floor for the winning point.

Barrette finished with seven aces and added five digs and Stewart had four aces with eight digs and two kills.

Pedersen worked the net for six kills, and three blocks and also had an ace and two digs.

Anderla collected three aces, seven digs and seven kills, Sam Krah had three aces and four digs, Brooke Janquart contributed an ace and three digs, Simmons finished with two blocks and a dig and Tristin Tieseling had a kill and a dig.

Houghton is a traditional Class C power that is making the jump to Class B this season. Betzinger noted that the Gremlins will be a mystery team for the Maroons Friday night.

Junior middle hitter Sydney Dillinger earned All-West Pac Conference honors for the Gremlins and senior middle player Elisa Jurmu was a second team selection. The Gremlins lost to West Pac Conference champion Calumet 25-13, 25-23 in the title match of the Gremlin Invitational last month.

"We haven't seen them play. We played well tonight, but I'd like to see us go up a couple more levels Friday night."