Three matches ahead this week for Cromwell
BY JAKE KACHINSKE
After a couple of tough losses the week before, the Cromwell volleyball team was able to get back on the winning track with a win last Tuesday at home against Moose Lake-Willow River, 3-0.
The first two games were close (25-20 and 25-23), but the Cardinals wore out the Rebels in the end by taking the third game by a 25-10 count.
After the home victory, Cromwell upped its record to 6-5 on the season and 3-4 in the Polar League. Meanwhile, Moose Lake-Willow River continued its struggling season and fell to 1-18 on the year and 0-8 in the conference. The Rebels have lost 15 straight matches. To make matters worse, the team has failed to win a set in that stretch of defeats.
In the win, Cromwell’s Brittany Johnson and MaKayleigh Cahoon combined for 12 kills, while Brianna House chipped in with 13 set assists. For Moose Lake-Willow River, Erin Mollberg had eight set assists, while Hayley Johnson added five digs.
Cromwell paid a price for their victory, however, as senior setter Marlene Wester dislocated her left arm and was heading for a prognosis this week from doctors.
After a rather light week, the Cardinal volleyball team hits the court full speed ahead this week with three matches. Opponents include East Central on the road Monday, Carlton on Tuesday and then it’s off to the North Shore for a Thursday match with Cook County.
The trip to Grand Marais this week is a reunion of sorts for Cromwell head coach Lori Wester. “Cook County is always a big rival for us,” she said. “My first teaching and coaching job was with Cook County.” Wester was Pam Taylor’s (Cook County head coach) assistant for four years. “The girls like to point out that I get very uptight whenever we play them. I guess it is my competitive nature,” said Wester.
Taylor concurred, “I think it’s harder on Lori coaching against me. She’s more competitive, but I must admit there’s a little extra incentive playing Cromwell.”
While Wester helped out on the volleyball side with Taylor for four seasons, Taylor was also able to return the favor by assisting Wester for a season on the girls’ basketball scene. But their friendship goes way beyond coaching. “Lori was my maid of honor. We continue to stay in touch, talking on the phone weekly. During volleyball season, it’s more like daily. We get together whenever possible,” said Taylor.
While it’ll be plenty competitive on the court, I’m sure there will be an ample amount catching up to do for the two close friends off the court on Thursday.
Cardinals Take Two in Two Harbors, Win Third Place
The Cromwell volleyball team traveled to Two Harbors on Saturday and brought home a third place finish after winning two of three matches.
The Cardinals took the opener against the host team, 2-1, then lost to Eveleth-Gilbert 2-0, and capped off the day with a win over Duluth Denfeld, 2-1, to win the third place crown.