Vikings earn #1 seed in pool play, fall to Mio in the semifinals during first tournament of 2019
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Grayling High School’s varsity volleyball team – during Friday’s Gaylord St. Mary invitational tournament, the 2019 season opener for the Vikings – earned the number one seed for bracket play with a 7-1 record in pool play, but the squad fell to Mio in the semifinals, ending its day.
The Vikings started their day and their season with a series vs. Gaylord St. Mary.
In game one, the score was tied at 6-6 early in the contest. Grayling scored nine of the next 10 points to lead 15-7. Highlights for the Vikings early in the match included a kill by Kynadi Dole, two aces by Kayli Burch, a kill by Moffit, and two aces by Allie Moffit.
Grayling maintained a lead the rest of the way and won 25-18, ending the contest with an ace by Ella Longendyke.
Game two vs. the Gaylord St. Mary Snowbirds was close all the way through. Grayling won by two, 25-23. Highlights for the Vikings included two kills by Youngblood, an ace by Youngblood, a kill by Kayleigh Paulus, consecutive aces by Alison Brown, an ace by Longendyke, a block by Dole, a kill by Dole, an ace by Ellie Wagner, and several kills by Moffit.
Next in pool play, the Vikings battled Suttons Bay.
Grayling won 25-10 in game one. Points for Grayling included an ace by Brown, a kill by Paulus, a kill by Dole, an ace by Wagner, a block by Emma Mertes, an ace by Moffit, a kill by Mertes, and two aces by Mertes.
Suttons Bay defeated Grayling 25-13 during game two of the match. Highlights for the Vikings included three kills by Moffit, a kill by Dole, and an ace by Mertes.
The Vikings won 25-15, 25-10 vs. Ellsworth.
In game one, early points for Grayling included two aces by Youngblood, a kill by Moffit, an ace by Mertes, an ace by Burch, a kill by Youngblood, and a kill by Mertes. Moffit served three consecutive aces to end the game.
In game two, points for the Vikings included two kills by Moffit, an ace by Brown, four consecutive aces by Youngblood, and three consecutive aces by Mertes.
Grayling ended its pool play round with two games vs. Mio.
Game one of the series vs. the Thunderbolts was tied at 17-17 late in the contest. Grayling won eight of the last 10 volleys to win the game 25-19.
Points for the Vikings during game one vs. Mio included multiple kills by Moffit, two kills by Youngblood, an ace by Mertes, an ace by Burch, an ace by Wagner, an ace by Brown, and a kill by Longendyke.
In the second game vs. Mio, the Vikings edged the Thunderbolts 25-23.
With the score tied at 23-23 late in the contest, Grayling ended the game with a kill by Dole and a block by Dole. Other points for the Vikings during the contest included two kills by Youngblood, a kill by Dole, an ace by Moffit, an ace by Brown, two aces by Youngblood, and two kills by Moffit.
In bracket play (single elimination, best of three), the Vikings drew a first round bye after posting the best overall record during pool play. They battled Mio in the semifinal round.
Grayling, in the semifinals, defeated Mio 25-21 during the first game of the series.
Highlights for GHS included kills by Moffit, Longendyke, Youngblood, and Paulus, and aces by Moffit, Brown,Youngblood, and Burch.
Mio tied the series at 1-1 with a 25-12 victory vs. Grayling in game two of the semifinal series. Points for the Vikings included a kill by Youngblood, two kills by Dole, a kill by Moffit, and an ace by Moffit.
In the rubber match – a game to 15 – Grayling trailed 10-6 early. Mio led 14-8 late. The Vikings scored four consecutive points – including two points on aces by Youngblood – to pull within two, 14-12, but Mio scored its 15th point to win the game, putting the Thunderbolts into the finals and ending Grayling’s tournament run.
Suttons Bay defeated Mio in the finals to win the tournament.
The Vikings will play at Cheboygan on Wednesday, September 4. On Monday, September 9, Grayling will host Gladwin.