Sports

Sun
07
Nov

Alumni games kick off VCC hoops season

The Vermilion Community College basketball teams get a preseason test Saturday with their annual alumni games.<BR><BR>The women’s game opens the doubleheader at 1 p.m, with the men to follow for a 3 p.m.

Sun
07
Nov

After first loss, swimmers prep for sections

They’ve already enjoyed a banner regular season.<BR><BR>A big performance in this week’s section meet would be just the topper that the Ely Timberwolves are looking for.<BR><BR>The high school girls swimming and diving team has relied on a deep and talented nucleus of seniors throughout the fall, winning 10 of 11 dual meets.<BR><BR>The Wolves go to Hibbing Thursday for the section preliminaries with lofty goals.<BR><BR>“Right now we’d like to get more than half of our swimmers into the top 16 and I hope at least a quarter will be in the top eight to medal,” said Ely Head Coach Nancy Smrekar.<BR><BR>The Wolves have at least two contenders for bids to the state meet.<BR><BR>Senior Candice Smrekar, the daughter of the head coach, advanced to state in diving a year ago and figures to be near the top of the heap when the diving finals take place Saturday.<BR><BR>Fellow senior Ali Schulze may have had the

Mon
01
Nov

Virginia spikes Ely out of section playoffs

Ely’s high school volleyball team wasn’t able to sustain some early momentum Wednesday night.<BR><BR>The Timberwolves beat Virginia in the first game of the Section 7AA playoff match at Coleraine, but the Blue Devils rebounded with a dominant effort on game two, turning the contest around and going on to win in four games.<BR><BR>Scores were 20-25, 25-9, 25-20, 25-17 as the Blue Devils advanced into the 7AA quarterfinals and a meeting with top-seeded Greenway.<BR><BR>The Wolves, who finished 12-13, looked like they might move on following a first-game performance that went in their favor.<BR><BR>The tide turned almost immediately, however, as Virginia relied on strong serves, good defense and a big night from setter Caitlin Stackpool - who had a match-high 30 assists - to turn things around.<BR><BR>“We played a really good first game,” said Ely Head Coach Mindy LaTourell.

Sun
31
Oct

Missed opportunities derail Timberwolves

They needed a late touchdown to avoid a shutout and the final score indicated a rather decisive 29-6 decision, but the Ely Timberwolves may look back at last Tuesday’s Section 7AA playoff loss to Duluth Marshall as one that got away.<BR><BR>The high school football game turned on opportunities - with Marshall seizing on its chances to score and the Timberwolves misfiring on theirs.<BR><BR>Three turnovers, a dropped pass in the end zone and two other possessions that ended deep in Marshall territory doomed the Wolves, who were playing their first home playoff game since 1998.<BR><BR>“We had some chances and just didn’t get them,” said Ely Head Coach Darren Visser. “We had opportunities to get points on the board but it didn’t happen.

Sun
31
Oct

Seniors make final home splash

The seniors on Ely’s high school girls swimming and diving team competed for the last time in their home pool last week, fueling a pair of wins that maintained the Timberwolves’ perfect mark in dual meets.<BR><BR>Senior Ali Schulze had a hand in three first-place finishes and classmates Meghan Furnstahl and Kelly Chaudoin both picked up individual wins as Ely downed Babbitt-Embarrass-Soudan-Tower 50-42 in Thursday’s home finale.<BR><BR>Two days earlier, Schulze was a quadruple winner in a 59-37 rout of Two Harbors.<BR><BR>Heading into a weekend meet at Hibbing, the Wolves’ last dual event of the fall, Ely had a 9-0 record and appeared to be clicking on all cylinders before a two-week preparation period for section competition.<BR><BR>The Wolves went into their taper with a memorable week of home meets for a deep senior group.<BR><BR>“The seniors had a hard time saying good-bye to their pool,” said Ely Head Coach Nancy Smrek

Sun
31
Oct

Once again, section belongs to Wolves

They don’t have the section’s best runner.<BR><BR>Their primary rival had a pair of top-five individual finishers.<BR><BR>But on a rainy, muddy day in Cloquet, it was clear that the Ely Timberwolves have something - tremendous overall depth -that none of their area opponents can match.<BR><BR>With five of the top-16 overall runners, Ely cruised Thursday to its second consecutive Section 7A championship and earned a berth in this weekend’s state meet.<BR><BR>Sophomore Casey Sovil placed seventh and earned an individual state bid, and four of her teammates were close behind as Ely had a section-best 53 points during the 7A event at Cloquet.<BR><BR>That eased a season’s worth of pressure for the Wolves, who entered Thursday’s race with a number-four state ranking and on the heels of a regular season in which they regularly beat section foes.<BR><BR>“I think this year was a little bit more stressful,” said Ely Head

Sat
30
Oct

VCC downs Northland

Their playoff hopes ended after two heartbreaking home defeats, but the Vermilion Ironmen bounced back and ended the season with two straight wins.<BR><BR>The community college football team relied on its defense and a few quick strikes through the air to beat Northland 19-12 in Thursday’s regular season finale at Ely School Stadium.<BR><BR>Vermilion, which downed Rainy River 33-12 the week before, finished 4-5.<BR><BR>Northland (1-8) was held to only one first down in the opening half and was held to just 54 rushing yards in the contest.<BR><BR>The Ironmen put together a 76-yard drive for the only score in the first half, and picked up a field goal, a safety and a 58-yard touchdown throw from Lenny Serfling to Irvin Bethea in the second.<BR><BR>But despite a two-to-one edge in total yards for the Ironmen, the outcome was in doubt until the end.<BR><BR>Northland trimmed the lead to 19-12 with 6:51 left on an 80-

Sun
24
Oct

In the front row

Thursday’s Section 7A high school girls cross country meet offers no guarantees, but Ely is in strong position to return to the state meet for a second straight year.<BR><BR>The defending section champion Timberwolves have been even more dominating against section foes than they were a year ago.<BR><BR>Sophomore Casey Sovil, fresh from an individual victory at last week’s Iron Range Conference meet, is one of the area’s best runners, without a doubt.<BR><BR>Jenna Klein, a senior, has kept pace with Sovil at most events this year.

Sun
24
Oct

Ely outlasts MIB in reguar season finale

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.

Sun
24
Oct

Wolves home for playoffs

Thanks to a late-season surge, the Ely Timberwolves will host a playoff game for the first time since 1998.<BR><BR>The high school football team picked off two wins in six days - including Wednesday’s 20-6 decision at Silver Bay - to finish the regular season at 4-4 and earn the fourth seed in the eight-team Section 7AA playoffs.<BR><BR>That means the Wolves will meet number-five Duluth Marshall (3-5), at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Ely School Stadium.<BR><BR>The Wolves, who started 1-3, needed a win at Silver Bay and a Marshall loss to Deer River to move into the fourth and final home slot. They got both - using field position and a strong running game to top the Mariners and finding out shortly after leaving the field that Deer River rallied for a late touchdown to top Marshall 40-37.<BR><BR>“The stars were aligned in our favor,” said Ely Head Coach Darren Visser.

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