The Lakeland volleyball team traveled down to Ashland for the Ashland Invite on Saturday, Sept. 14 to continue to build up play and experience before more conference games.
The Thunderbirds came out and won pool play. They then played in the championship game in the gold bracket against Ashland, losing 2-0 (15-25, 21-25).
In pool play, Lakeland found success against a number of teams. First, they beat Bessemer 2-0 (25-17, 25-11).
“They used what they learned from the Tomahawk game and applied it to all our games in the tournament,” assistant coach Anne Pertile said. “In Ashland, all the stars were aligned and we played like a well oiled machine.”
The Thunderbirds then came out to beat Chequamegon 2-0 (25-17, 25-14).
“This was a complete team effort in the Ashland tournament,” Pertile said. “Players on the court and on the bench stepped up in a big way and played their role. I was so impressed with the support each player gave to one another on and off the bench.”
Another match gave the Thunderbirds another victory, this time against Washburn 2-1 (22-25, 25-19, 15-13).
“In practice, we have been working on new offensive plays and it was nice to see our confidence level rise enough to run many of those plays this weekend,” Pertile said.
The first game in the gold bracket came against GNC foe Northland Pines. The Thunderbirds started slow, but stormed back to win 2-1 (11-25, 25-18, 15-12).
“The competition at this tournament never disappoints. Each team is fierce in their own way and they always come prepared to play hard to the very end,” Pertile said.
The final game came against Ashland, with Ashland taking the 2-0 (15-25, 21-25) victory in the championship game. But overall, there were many bright spots.
“The competition was so well balanced that each game was a nail biter,” Pertile said. “It was by far the most fun tournament to watch from a coaches and parent perspective.”
Their next game comes tonight at home against Medford starting at 7 p.m. It is Lakeland’s first home match of the season. Coverage of that will be in the Sept. 20 edition of The Times
After that, the Thunderbirds travel to Antigo for a conference tournament on Saturday, Sept. 21 starting at 10 a.m.
Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]