Broncos fend off fiesty Black Bears

HARRIS – A late push from Big Bay de Noc wasn’t enough to overcome an early deficit as Bark River-Harris outlasted the Black Bears 3-1, (25-21, 25-6, 18-25, 26-24) at home on Tuesday.

The Broncos broke open a first set that was tied 18-18, when senior Mallory Petersen recorded a kill to give BR-H a 19-18 edge. She then went on a five point service run to give her team a 24-18 cushion. The set ended on a Big Bay de Noc serving error.

“Overall we had a great start, first set we were able to pull off,” said Broncos head coach John Jorasz. “Second set we took control right from the beginning with our serving which is definitely something that picked us up.

In the second set junior Emily Johnson rattled off a five point service run, as the Broncos jumped out to a 5-0 lead and never looked back en-route to a 25-6 win.

After falling behind 2-0, the Black Bears responded with a convincing 25-18 victory in the third set to keep their night alive.

“Losing that third set really brought the team down overall, even though it was only the third set but it just seemed to get to them. Even coming back in the fourth set seemed like it was getting to the team,” Jorasz said.

The hangover from the third set loss carried over for the Broncos in the fourth set as Big Bay de Noc jumped out to a 18-14 lead.

Jorasz said his team didn’t break out of that funk until the end of the set when they were trailing 23-19. After a Black Bear serving error the Broncos trailed by one, 24-23, as senior Kortney Jenshak stepped up to serve.

In only her second game back from an ACL injury, Jenshak put together a three point service run to finish the Big Bay de Noc rally and end the match.

“She definitely enjoys herself when she’s out there and she’s going to push herself every chance she gets and you can see it when she’s out there,” Jorasz said. “I hate to put her in certain positions because of her knee but she’s going to be coming around to being one of my stronger players, with the capability of doing more of what we saw tonight.”

Big Bay de Noc’s head coach Gail Demars was happy with the team’s lineup changes today but noted that it could’ve been more timely in the fourth set.

“I switched a few girls in and out maybe at a time when I shouldn’t have, so I’m going to have to take responsibility for some of it,” Demars said. “That last game I should’ve made a different change then I did and I know now, but it’s to late.”

Big Bay de Noc falls to 4-13 on the season. Demars said this one was tough to lose after her team had fought back from a 2-0 deficit.

“We were there, we really were there,” Demars said. “We were just so close. It’s hard to lose when you’re close like that.”

Demars was encouraged with her team’s communication and fight after falling behind 2-0, and she said the program, which is only four years old, is making strides in the right direction.

“Big Bay over the years has always been the school that people see and say ‘easy win,'” she said. “We come in the gym now and they know we’re a team to be reckoned with, you know we’re going to give them a good fight. You’re seeing the program starting to progressively get better.”

The Broncos improve to 5-7 overall. They play next Monday at Superior Central. Big Bay is on the road tomorrow as they travel to Superior Central.

In jayvee action it was Bark River-Harris winning 2-0.