Cougar netters spent a lot of time on the bus last week, traveling to road contests both near and far.

M-C at Houston, Sept. 24

Mabel-Canton's offense produced 38 kills in only three sets on Tuesday, defeating the Hurricanes 25-7, 25-22, 25-11.

M-C coach Lonnie Morken reported that his team had a solid night at the line, totaling 16 aces while keeping 90 percent of their serves in-bounds. Coranda Vickerman pegged 100 percent of her serves while scoring six aces.

Belle Sand led the attack with 12 kills on 19 sets. Lydia Geving polished off eight kills, as did Sara-Vettleson-Trutza. Sara Lind put away seven kills.

As set scores indicate, M-C was most efficient in the first and third sets. The Hurricanes went toe-to-toe with the Cougars in the middle frame.

Trying to contain All-SEC outside hitter Abbey Loken was a defensive goal for M-C. "You won't completely shut somebody like that out, but you don't want her to have a career night," Morken noted. Cougar blockers did just that. Elizabeth Loken and Kelly Jerviss were counted as the leading scorers for Houston, with five kills apiece.

M-C at Glenville-Emmons, Sept. 26

M-C steamrolled G-E two nights later, 25-8, 25-11, 25-5.

"You never quite know how your team will come out after such a long bus ride, but we were very sharp from the beginning," Morken said. "We were very balanced offensively. We didn't quite hit the 90 percent team serving mark that we shoot for, but we did serve up 16 aces which was double our misses (8). Sara Vettleson-Trutza was home sick so Hannah Nolte moved from right side into the middle and did a fine job."

Nolte placed all six serves in-bounds while smoking an ace past defenders. She also hit two kills, got two digs, and scored an ace block.

Geving and Lind led with six kills each. Sand scored five, plus an ace block. Lind also had two ace blocks to her credit. Sand and Vickerman each served three aces, while Geving, Christine Lee and Courtney Graves had two aces each.

On defense, Vickerman led the team with six digs, while Geving had five and Sand four.

Pierz Tournament, Sept. 28

For the 10th consecutive year, M-C headed north to the Pierz Tourney, Morken reported. "The teams are always tall and very hard working on defense (and) this year was no exception. All the teams put up a very big block, which is what we struggle against oftentimes because of our lack of height."

The Cougars won the Saturday event without losing a set.

In pool play, M-C defeated Floodwood 25-9, 25-8. Buffalo-Lake Hector fell 25-14, 25-19, followed by Holdingford (25-11, 25-12).

The championship bracket matched the Cougars with host Pierz (25-11, 25-4). M-C then won the championship match by defeating Buffalo-Lake Hector again, 25-17, 25-17.

"Overall it was a great tournament," Morken said. "We had some great passing which allowed our setter, Carly McCabe, to distribute the ball at a very efficient level. We were balanced on offense with Belle, Lydia and Sara all getting 29 or more kills. Serving was also very good as we got almost three times the amount of aces as we did misses."

As a team, M-C totaled 47 aces on the day. Geving led with 14 ace serves. Team serving came in at 93 percent.

McCabe set 103 of 129 assists, with 131 kills going to 10 different players.

Defensively, the Cougars totaled 116 digs and 15 ace blocks. Lind had nine of the latter. With only 29 hitting errors, the team posted an outstanding 36 percent rating in hitting efficiency.

Up next

Homecoming week signals an end to a month on the road for the Cougars. On Tuesday, Oct. 1, they hosted Lyle/Pacelli. Two nights later, on Thursday, Lanesboro will come to town.