Hale’s Claudia Cadwell tips the ball over the net during Thursday’s home game with Oscoda. 

HALE – The top two volleyball teams in the North Star League met in Hale on Thursday night. The Lady Eagles, leaders of the Little Dipper, played as hosts to Oscoda, the top team in the Big Dipper. Hale came up a bit short in the match, 25-19, 17-25, 25-13 and 25-21.

“It definitely could have gone five sets, head coach Toni Nieman said. “I liked the way that they played, but we need a little bit of work on defense. Oscoda is probably one of the hardest hitting teams, we don’t see that a lot in our league so we struggled with that, but we will get there.”  

Hale stumbled a bit in the opening set, as Oscoda raced to a quick 14-6 lead. Kaylee Collins had kills at 19-11 and 20-12 and an ace by Collins brought the Eagles within 20-15.

Claudia Cadwell added a spike at 22-17, but Oscoda was able to finish off the frame, 25-19.

“We had a little bit of trouble on defense, a couple girls couldn’t play so that was hard as far as rest-wise,” Nieman said. “The first game, they were trying to hit over the blocks instead of through them and that kind of hurt us with balls going way out.” 

The Eagles took an 11-5 lead in the second set on a kill by Madison Hubbs, with Hubbs getting another kill at 15-7.

Hubbs’ strong set continued as she added aces that gave Hale leads of 16-7 and 19-7 and a spike by Morgan Vance made it a 21-13 Hale lead. The Eagles ended the frame with a kill by Hubbs. 

Oscoda largely dominated the third set, as it took leads of 8-1 and 19-5 and played its way to a 25-13 win in the frame. 

Oscoda claimed a 13-7 lead in the fourth, though kills by Vance kept the Eagles within range at 15-10 and 16-11. 

A Cadwell tip closed Hale within 16-13 and a spike by Hubbs drew them within 21-20. Oscoda closed out the game by scoring four of the next five points.

“It was a tough loss, we were really sluggish, which led to a lack of energy on the court,” Nieman said. “Collins did really well at the net and Cadwell stepped up and became a middle hitter, a 5’4” middle hitter but it was working. She is a team player, all the girls are really. They’re a cohesive team.” 

Hubbs led the team with seven kills, Collins had five kills, Cadwell had 10 assists and Abigail Parkinson had seven assists. 

On Tuesday, Oct. 6 Hale hosted Hillman in a NSL Little Dipper contest, winning in straight sets, 25-15, 25-13 and 25-22.

Parkinson and Vance led the team with nine points each, with Parkinson also serving up an ace. Vance had seven digs, Hubbs had five digs and Cadwell had five assists. Collins led the offensive attack with three kills.

Hale (8-3 overall) hosted Alcona on Tuesday, hosts Atlanta on Thursday, heads to the Tawas Invitational on Saturday and plays at Ogemaw Heights on Wednesday.