CALUMET TWP. | An ultra-competitive first game between Times No. 10 Calumet and Bishop Noll was simply a foreshadowing of what to expect throughout the entire volleyball match.
Calumet fought through four tough games before taking the match 28-30, 25-23, 27-25, 25-21.
Although Calumet got off to a seemingly dominant 15-6 start to the final game, Noll clawed back to trim the deficit as close as 22-20 -- as many of Calumet's serve and kill attempts were shot too long and resulted in easy Noll points.
"They like close games apparently," Calumet coach Brianne Cercone said jokingly. "I think they just want to give me a heart attack."
One star of Calumet's potent hitting attack was Latiana Harris who provided 11 kills and eight block kills throughout the match.
"I felt really good about it (our blocking)," Cercone said. "Being a new coach and getting to know the girls, I get to know who can block and who can't. I work with what I have."
After taking an early 5-1 lead in the first game of the match, Calumet (7-3) let Noll (7-8, 1-3) back into the game. That first loss served as fuel to the fire for Harris, who knew she and her team needed to come out firing on all cylinders for the remaining three games.
"We needed to communicate more," she said. "If we talk, communicate and join as one (team), we can overcome anything."
Regardless of the first game loss, Cercone was pleased with the effort throughout all four games.
"I told them it was a great job and an awesome effort -- that's all I ask of them," she said. "To go that far in a game and not give up shows that you really want to win."
That effort certainly wasn't lacking throughout, which has been a key to Calumet's successful season thus far. Players diving on the floor to keep the ball in play attested to that fact.
"It's just discipline," Cercone said. "If a ball hits the floor, they all hit the floor no matter what. It's just discipline and teaching them that winning isn't easy."
Calumet limited Bishop Noll's kill points, as Charlotte Williamson had eight of them. Rose Mullaney led the Warriors with 26 digs.