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Wolverines rally to defeat Verndale

Wadena-DC's Ellie Miron leaps for the tip kill against Verndale on Thursday night. Miron finished with 15 kills and sparked a rally to help the Wolverines defeat Verndale. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal

The sixth-ranked Wadena-Deer Creek volleyball team needed a spark when it was down 1-0 and trailing in the second set against rival Verndale on Sept. 22. That spark came from Ellie Miron.

Miron rattled off five straight kills, turning the momentum and changing the direction of the second set. The Wolverines eventually wore down the host Pirates, defeating Verndale 17-25, 25-21, 25-16, 25-11 in front of an energized crowd in Verndale.

“I was getting fired up about their energy,” Miron said. “I just wanted to stop them and shut them up.”

Casey Volkmann

Miron finished with 15 kills and three digs. Miron, along with powerful outside hitter Casey Volkmann, provide a solid punch for the Wolverines. Volkmann led the way with 26 kills.

“She (Miron) is our other go-to hitter and is battling some injuries with her knees. She really guts it out,” Wadena-DC head coach Sue Volkmann said. “She really stepped up for us tonight. She was the key that got us turned around and got us going. Give credit to her.”

The Wolverines are adjusting to playing with a target on their back as one of the state’s top teams. It’s something that gives the Wolverines added motivation.

“It feels really nice to have that target on our backs, because it means we are doing something right,” Miron said. “It just fires us up so much more. Everyone is out to get us so bad, but they can’t stop us.”

Morgan Glenz led the charge for the Pirates, finishing with 20 kills. Glenz and the Pirates were on fire in the early going, searching for the upset bid.

“Verndale came out really fired up and they definitely wanted to beat us. They came out with the best game they probably played all year. We had a lot of unforced errors and that caused us to get back on our heels,” Volkmann said. “But, give our kids credit, we regrouped and we knew that we could play a lot better than what we were doing and we did. We really put them away in the last game.”

Tough atmospheres like Verndale’s will only prepare WDC for tournament time, according to Volkmann.

Lila Lohmiller

Miron said the Wolverines started flat. That was evident when the Pirates raced out to a 14-5 lead in the first set. The slow start forced Volkmann to use both timeouts. The Wolverines never got on track in that set as the Pirates earned a 25-18 win.

The Wolverines found themselves in another hole in the second set, trailing 8-5. Yet, it was Miron’s run that changed the momentum as WDC pulled away for a 25-21 win.

“We started out pretty flat, but we slowly figured out what we needed to do,” Miron said. “By the fourth game, we had it all together.”

The adjustments paid dividends in sets three and four. The Wolverines took control of each one early, racing out to insurmountable leads, picking up 25-16 and 25-11 wins in sets three and four, respectively.

The Wolverines improve their record to 11-1 overall and 3-0 against Park Region Conference foes. The Wolverines will face another stern test on Sept. 25 when they take on Park Rapids Area. The Panthers, one of the favorites in Section 8AA, are 7-0 on the season and have dropped just two sets so far.

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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