LINCOLN – Sometimes old wounds just don’t go away. Houghton Lake re-opened the wounds of the Oscoda volleyball team Friday night, as the Lady Bobcats defeated the Lady Owls in a division three district title game at Alcona, 25-21, 25-22, 22-25 and 25-20. Houghton Lake also topped Oscoda in last year’s district action.
“It was pretty heartbreaking, but the girls played really good,” head coach Melissa Curley said. “They played strong all-around all night though. We just had a few big moments where the point didn’t go our way. I think any of the sets could have gone either way all night.”
The Bobcats won the Highland Conference in their first season in the league, and were able to add the district title, despite the North Star League Conference Big Dipper champion Owls’ best efforts.
“We knew they passed well, their libero really moves well and covers a lot of ground and they were very consistent servers,” Curley said. “I think they missed two serves the whole night and we definitely were not that consistent.”
Leading the attack was Macy Kellstrom with 15 kills and 17 digs, Lauren Langley added 11 kills, one block and one ace, Kiah Holmes had nine kills, 14 digs, five aces and one block and Emma Przybylinski had four aces and 16 digs.
“Just all-around everyone did good,” Curley said. “Everyone played hard. We started off every match down by five or more points. A lot of times in other seasons, we just stopped playing hard at that point but we didn’t do that at all. Everyone stepped up and everyone played hard.”
On Wednesday, Nov. 6 the Owls were able to take down Whittemore-Prescott in the district semi-finals, 25-19, 22- 25, 25-21 and 25-22.
“Whittemore played well and we struggled with our serves, missing seven in the first set,” Curley said. “I thought that was going to bring us down but we stepped up and kept fighting.”
The first set had Kellstrom deliver a hard spike and an ace to take leads at 11-4 and 12-4, with Langley adding a kill at 17-11.
Kellstrom followed with a well-placed tip at 18-13 and Holmes added back-to-back kills to make it 24-19. Kellstrom finished off the set with a high-flying spike.
The second set saw Kellstrom get a pair of early kills and a tip by Mochty lifted the Owls to an 11-4 lead. Kellstrom followed with an ace at 12-4 and Oscoda still led at 22-14 thanks to an ace by Andrea Bickel.
W-P used a strong serving run to go on an impressive 11-0 run, taking the set at 25-22 to even up the sets at one apiece.
A Bickel ace early in the third set helped Oscoda get off to a fast start and 5-2 lead, and McKenna Mochty added a nice backwards tip at the net for a kill at 11-6.
Kellstrom added one of her usual blistering spikes at 14-6 and she followed with an ace at 19-13.
Holmes helped Oscoda keep a comfortable lead at 22-16 and Langley closed out the set with a spike at 25-21.
The fourth set stayed close for most the way, though a pair of kills in the middle of the set helped Oscoda claim a 16-10 lead.
Holmes drilled a kill in the back corner to push the lead to 21-16 and a Langley block kept them in the lead at 22-19.
Kellstrom had kills at 23-20 and 24-20 and Mochty finished off the night with a tip to an empty spot on the court to make the set 25-22.
Kellstrom finished the night with 11 kills, 10 digs and two aces, Holmes tallied 10 kills, 15 digs, three aces and one block, Langley added six kills, four aces and one block, Megan Myles had four kills and three blocks and Mochty finished with three kills, eight digs and three aces.
“I was really happy with this game, we were strong at the net,” Curley said.” Kiah hit awesome and was really consistent. Myles had three blocks and got to a lot of balls that she kept playable for our back row.”
Oscoda finishes the season 20-10-8 overall and went undefeated in league play to win the NSL Big Dipper at 10-0.
“This was a great season, we knew we were going to be strong and we did really well fighting some bigger schools at tournaments this year,” Curley said. “I’m not looking forward to not having those seniors next year.”