Ely outlasts MIB in reguar season finale

by Tom Coombe

Ely’s high school volleyball team is heading into the postseason with a full head of steam.<BR><BR>Before a Parents’ Night crowd Monday at the high school gymnasium, the Timberwolves rallied for a five-game, Arrowhead Conference win over Mt. Iron-Buhl.<BR><BR>Barb Klun had a season-high 41 assists, and teammates Jackie Lekatz and Rafaela Cavalcante had 21 kills each, as Ely prevailed 23-25, 25-23, 25-7, 16-25, 16-14.<BR><BR>The Wolves, who open Section 7AA playoff action Wednesday in Coleraine against Virginia, finished the regular season with a 12-12 record.<BR><BR>A narrow win in the second game started the Ely surge toward the .500 mark.<BR><BR>The Rangers, who got 16 kills from Venessa Knuti, won the first game and battled Ely to the wire in the second.<BR><BR>Ely eked out the win in game two and took a two games to one lead with a decisive third-game effort.<BR><BR>The Rangers forced a fifth game and battled the Wolves to the end, but Ely had just enough left to hold on.<BR><BR>A strong offensive attack was paced by Cavalcante and Lekatz.<BR><BR>Christa Streit added 10 kills for the Wolves in her final home match.<BR><BR>Klun had seven ace serves to go with her assists and Cavalcante finished with five ace serves.<BR><BR>On defense, Lekatz contributed 16 kills and a pair of blocks.<BR><BR>Jessica Avikainen wound up with 37 set assists and Megan Downs added nine kills for the Rangers.<BR><BR>• Ely is seeded fifth in the east half of 7AA and takes on number-four Virginia at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in Greenway.<BR><BR>The winner of that match is likely to take on top-seed Greenway on Friday, also at Coleraine.<BR><BR>The tournament continues next week with the semifinals (Nov. 4) and finals (Nov. 6), both at Grand Rapids.