Ironwomen extend Hibbing, fall in five

by Tom Coombe

The Vermilion Ironwomen came oh-so-close Wednesday night.<BR><BR>Winless since the 2002 season, the community college volleyball team nearly broke into the victory column at Hibbing.<BR><BR>The Ironwomen won two of the first three games of the Northern Division match before the host Cardinals rallied to take the five-game marathon.<BR><BR>Scores were 24-30, 30-10, 28-30, 30-14, 15-8.<BR><BR>Vermilion fell to 0-5, but won its first games of the season and had its best overall performance, despite the early loss of Ely freshman Gena Jerich.<BR><BR>“Gena went down early in game one with an ankle injury and did not return,” said VCC Head Coach Mandy Jelinek. “The team made good adjustments without her in the lineup.”<BR><BR>Kristin Davis helped pick up the slack for the Ironwomen, coming up with 14 kills, 26 digs and three service aces.<BR><BR>“Kristin is one of our more consistent players,” said Jelinek. “She brings her game every night.”<BR><BR>The Ironwomen set the Cardinals on their heels by taking the first game and pulled out a two-point decision in game three to go up 2-1.<BR><BR>That gave the hosts a jolt, and Hibbing dominated the fourth and fifth games to win the match.<BR><BR>VCC’s Jackie Funk had six service aces as well as 13 kills and 27 digs.<BR><BR>Other statistical leaders for Vermilion were Kathy Carlson (19 digs) and Molly Trombley (23 assists, 15 digs).<BR><BR>“Jackie Funk had a great serving night in addition to excellent floor coverage,” said Jelinek. “Lori Brick’s passing has really come around. Our setter doesn’t have to work as hard.”<BR><BR>The Ironwomen took on Itasca over the weekend and they’re at home Wednesday (6:30 p.m.) to take on division rival Mesabi.