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Section opponents top Ely in volleyball

Ely’s high school volleyball team dropped a pair of matches to Section 7AA rivals last week.Visiting International Falls shook off a first-game loss and downed the Timberwolves 16-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-12 Thursday night.Two days earlier, Ely fell on the road at Duluth Marshall, 25-14, 19-25, 25-22, 25-22.Ely, which also dropped three of four contests at the Oct. 2 Duluth Marshall Tournament, fell to 9-11 heading into its final three matches of the regular season.But despite the loss, Thursday’s match had some high points for the Wolves.Rafaela Cavalcante led with 10 kills and 10 digs, and Jackie Lekatz finished with nine ace serves and seven kills.“We touched more balls on blocks than I have ever recorded,” said Matt Penke, Ely’s assistant coach. “It was a great night at the net. On digs and passes we really hustled in the first game.”Ely scored a convincing win in the first game and led in the second, but couldn’t hold off a late charge from the Broncos, who were paced by Brittany Bolstad (17 kills, 16 digs).“The second game was real close, but we just couldn’t put it together,” said Penke. “It was the same story in the third and fourth games.”Other statistical leaders for Ely included Christa Streit (eight kills), Barb Klun (26 assists, nine digs) and Carlotta Rodino (two ace serves).Setter Gena Gordon had 32 assists for the winners, and teammate Katie Prettyman chipped in with 10 kills and 10 digs.“They hammered away at us,” said Penke.After splitting the first two games, Ely was on the short end of two close decisions against Marshall.The Hilltoppers relied on Kasha Hornstein, who pounded home 22 kills and was a force at the net.Paige Sands-Dibb set up the attack with 41 assists.Ely’s Klun nearly matched her, contributing 30 assists.Cavalcante had a team-high 14 kills and Streit wound up with 11.As the regular season winds down, Ely goes on the road this week for two more section matchups.The Wolves visit Two Harbors Tuesday and go to Eveleth-Gilbert Thursday. The regular season ends next week.

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