Jeffers volleyball overtakes Baraga with 3-1 win | News, Sports, Jobs


Hanna Larson of the Jeffers Jets prepares to serve against Baraga on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022, in Painesdale, Michigan (Eddie O’Neill/The Daily Mining Gazette)

PAINESDALE — It was a back-and-forth battle on the Jeffers High School volleyball court on Tuesday as the hometown Jets took on the visiting Baraga Vikings.

In the end, the Jets secured a hard-fought 3-1 win with scores of 25-18, 19-25, 25-23, and 25-11.

Both coaches agreed that it was a good first-serve volleyball game as the teams were very evenly matched.

“It was fun,” Baraga head coach Corey Pietila said. “Our hitting was phenomenal. There was energy on the pitch and the movement of the ball was efficient.

On the other side of the net, Jeffers head coach Rachael Sondgerath loves the aggressive player her daughters have displayed at net.

“We capitalized on our first line” she says. “We won points tonight instead of our opponents giving or losing points.”

The Jets had 10 aces on the night. Five of them came from junior Sara Johnson. She also led the night with seven wins.

In the first set, the Jets (2-0) and Vikings (0-2) battled at 12-12 knots before the Jets took an 18-15 lead. The Jets had the advantage on the service line with Raena Kangas and Hanna Larson stringing together three sets to push Jeffers to a 21-18 lead. Jets Carli Wiitala then finished the set with a four-serve streak and a 25-18 win.

“Our defensive coverage could have done better, I had some girls covering too much ground and some not enough,” said Pietila after the first set “However, I think we played well in sets one to three.”

The Vikings won the second set 19-25. After some great rallies and a 9-9 draw, Baraga had momentum on his side with Mia Coronado in line. She posted one-for-four serve to put the Vikings ahead 19-15. Kaci Coronado then finished the Jets at age 25.

“Kylie Michaelson did a phenomenal job” Pietila said. “She’s my outside hitter. Makenna Hendrickson and Shayla Elmblad also played well. These two can cover some ground because they know each other’s movement.

While Pietila thought the first through third sets were Baraga’s best, Sondgrath thought the fourth was where his Jets shone.

“I liked our last set” said Sondgrath. “We communicated well and pushed the ball towards our setter and put the ball on the ground with our big swings. We also stormed the net by blocking – not allowing easy balls over the net.

The Jets will go their season undefeated on the road to Hancock on Thursday as they take on the Bulldogs in a 6:45 game.

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