Vermilion spikers swept in home debut

by Tom Coombe

The Vermilion Ironwomen lost three straight matches - but showed signs of improvement - during a busy stretch last week.<BR><BR>Rainy River spoiled the community college volleyball squad’s home debut - sweeping VCC 30-16, 30-19, 30-16 in Northern Division action.<BR><BR>That droppped the Ironwomen’s season mark to 0-4, but the loss was not without its highlights.<BR><BR>“We are making progess,” said Vermilion Head Coach Mandy Jelinek. “We’re digging the balls out of the net. We’re reacting quicker to the ball. I thought our coverage was better than in recent games and we really hustled. We just killed ourselves with mental errors.”<BR><BR>Ely freshman Gena Jerich led the way for the Ironwomen, coming up with a team-high six kills. Teammate Jackie Funk added five.<BR><BR>Molly Trombley set up the hitters with 11 assists, and Kristin Davis finished with nine digs.<BR><BR>The previous weekend, Vermilion lost to a pair of division contenders.<BR><BR>Central Lakes swept Vermilion 30-23, 30-18, 30-18, Sept. 10 at Brainerd. The following afterooon, the Ironwomen went to Thief River Falls and lost 30-12, 30-15, 30-15 to Northland.<BR><BR>“We played two tough teams,” said Jelinek.<BR><BR>Against Central Lakes, Jerich had six digs and five ace serves, Davis added four kills and six digs, and Trombley contributed six assists and six digs.<BR><BR>Jerich had 12 digs, Davis had three kills and three ace serves, and Funk had six digs, four aces and three kills against Northland.<BR><BR>The Ironwomen return to action Wednesday at Hibbing. They host Itasca Friday (6:30 p.m.) at the college gymnasium.<BR><BR>“The team is working hard to smooth over rough spots,” said Jelinek. “The season is young.”