Kia Heide, Carol Keezer and Ashley Pyburn strung together key service runs in sparking the Nevis volleyball team to a 3-0 win over Menahga in the season opener Aug. 28 at the Tiger Arena.
Nevis prevailed with a 25-17, 25-20, 25-19 win as Heide served 12 straight points in Set 1 to overturn an 8-6 deficit, Keezer served four points in Set 2 to break open a 16-16 tie and Pyburn served three points to expand a 10-7 lead in Set 3.
Menahga jumped out to an 8-6 lead in Set 1 behind three service points by Jessica Pietila and a kill by Madi Marjamaa. Jessica Swanda had two kills and Heide had a winning tip for the Tigers during that stretch. Heide then followed a kill by serving 12 straight points to give Nevis a 19-8 advantage. Heide served an ace during that run while Ashley Pyburn pounded down two kills. Andrea Dudley had a winning tip and kill while Makenna Frazier had a kill during that stretch. Two winning tips by Marjamaa kept Menahga within 21-13 before two kills by Swanda closed out the opening set.
Kills by Pyburn and Heide and two ace serves by Swanda gave the Tigers a 9-5 edge in Set 2. A tip by Tara Hendrickson, a block by Marjamaa and Hendrickson, and ace serves by Rena Pinoniemi and Marjamaa gave Menahga a 12-11 advantage before three service points by Pyburn and four by Keezer (including an ace) gave the Tigers a 21-16 advantage. Cierra Ahlf served an ace for Menahga while Heide had a pair of kills for the Tigers during that stretch. A block by Hendrickson and Pietila and a kill by Hendrickson kept the Braves within 22-18 before two kills by Pyburn closed out that set.
A kill by Ahlf helped offset two kills by Heide and a kill by Swanda as Set 3 was tied at 5-5. Three kills and three service points by Pyburn gave Nevis a 14-7 advantage. Two ace serves by Janie Tormanen and two winning tips by Yliniemi cut the gap to 19-15 before a tip by Dudley and two kills by Pyburn closed out the match.
Marjamaa (5), Ahlf (4), Hendrickson (3) and Olivia Yliniemi (3) combined for 15 kills while Pietila (6), Tormanen (4), Ahlf (4) and Marjamaa (4) combined for 18 service points with Marjamaa tallying 10 set assists. Rena Pinoniemi had 13 digs while Pietila (8), Martha Peterson (8), Ahlf (6) and Yliniemi (5) combined for 27 digs. Hendrickson assisted on four blocks while Pietila and Marjamaa assisted on two blocks each.
Heide led Nevis' offense with 10 kills and 15 service points. Pyburn also had 10 kills and served 8 points while Dudley had 17 set assists. Sadie Thurner (10), Dudley (7), Pyburn (5) and Maggie Carrier (5) combined for 27 digs.