Serves fuel road sweep

by Tom Coombe
The serving line proved to be a potent weapon for the Ely Timberwolves.
Madeline Kallberg and sisters McKenna and Rachel Coughlin combined for 17 ace serves Tuesday as the visiting Wolves dominated Northeast Range in a high school volleyball sweep.
Ely improved to 2-0 for the young season with a 25-15, 25-17, 25-10 victory.
The opening game was evenly-contested until the Wolves closed it out with a 10-1 run, much with senior McKenna Coughlin on serve.
Kallberg delivered several aces during a second-game romp while Rachel Coughlin used her jump serve to befuddle the Nighthawks and pile up points for a young Wolves team.
Ely has five new starters and lost heavily to graduation after reaching the section semifinals the last two years, but the Wolves are reloading with new talent.
Many honed up during the offseason and the Wolves showed off some depth in Babbitt, bringing junior Kellen Thomas and sophomore Kate Coughlin off the bench to add to an impressive arsenal of weapons.
McKenna Coughlin, Ely’s only senior, finished with nine kills, while Rachel, a sophomore, helped the Wolves neutralize Northeast Range’s heavy-hitter - junior Hannah Reichensperger.
In the third game, Ely rattled off five straight points with Kate Coughlin on serve and the Wolves quickly ran up a double-digit lead.
Rachel Coughlin had seven kills, five ace serves and four blocks for the winners, and Kallberg finished with seven aces to go with three kills.
Junior Raven Sainio added five kills and classmate Katrina Seliskar distributed the ball and wound up with 26 set assists.
Seliskar also had 26 set assists in Saturday’s season-opener - a three-game romp against visiting Silver Bay.
The Timberwolves pulled away late in the opening game and prevailed 25-20, 25-12, 25-18.
Kallberg had eight kills while McKenna Coughlin was next with seven kills and four ace serves.
Rachel Coughlin had four kills and two blocks, and juinor Charly Flom had Ely’s best day at the serving line - delivering seven aces.
• The Wolves’ season-opener at International Falls, scheduled for Oct. 8, was postponed and no makeup date has been set, as of yet.
Ely hosts Littlefork-Big Falls Tuesday and Cherry Thursday as part of a two-game homestand this week.