Ely spikers start season with a split

by Tom Coombe

Ely’s high school volleyball team had an up-and-down start to the 2004 season.<BR><BR>Or perhaps more accurately, a down-and-up start.<BR><BR>The Timberwolves struggled during their opener Tuesday night at Silver Bay, getting swept by the Mariners.<BR><BR>Ely reversed course during its home debut two nights later, sweeping Nashwauk-Keewatin in three close games, 25-19, 25-22, 25-21.<BR><BR>“I was much happier with our performance against Nashwauk than against Silver Bay,” said Ely Head Coach Mindy LaTourell. “In the first match, we came out really sluggish. We passed really poorly and gave them way too many opportunities. Our passing was much better against Nashwauk, and that led to more offense.”<BR><BR>Senior Christa Streit had nine kills for the Wolves, along with two ace serves.<BR><BR>The Wolves almost led wire-to-wire, even though the scores were close.<BR><BR>N-K had just one lead in the match.<BR><BR>“We had pretty decent control for most of the match, and we started doing some of the little things better,” said LaTourell.<BR><BR>Barb Klun helped set up the Ely offense with 23 assists. She also had three ace serves.<BR><BR>Jackie Lekatz had a solid all-around evening, with nine digs, four blocks and four ace serves.<BR><BR>Exchange student Rafaela Cavalcante pitched in, as well, finishing with five kills, two blocks and seven digs.<BR><BR>Ely played both matches without junior Kelsey Ivancich, who is sidelined with a sprained ankle.<BR><BR>“She would get a lot of playing time,” said LaTourell. “She is definitely going to help us when she gets back healthy.”<BR><BR>Ely returns to the court Tuesday with a road match at Babbitt-Embarrass (7 p.m.).