Early lead can’t propel AE past AuGres


AuGRES-SIMS — Arenac Eastern put AuGres-Sims in a big hole Tuesday, but the Wolverines came back from the brink of being swept by the Eagles to steal a five-game North Star League victory.

Arenac Eastern dominated the first two games in winning 25-10, 25-13, but AGS won the third game 25-17, came from behind to win Game 4 26-24 and won the winner-take-all fifth game 15-10.

"We were kind of out of it the first couple games," said AGS senior Kelsey Heinrich. "I think maybe we were a little overconfident, but then we realized we had to kick it in gear."

The Eagles closed out the first game with a 15-1 run as Sara Wenkel served 12 straight points, including a pair of aces, to key the run.

AE also had a 19-4 in the middle of the second game, again with Wenkel serving and with Erin Ecker picking up several kills on the front line.

"This team is growing," said AE coach Hannah Neil. "We have a lot of first-year players, and we have a lot to work on. But their play has been promising."

AGS reversed its fortunes in the third game, getting off to a 10-3 start and never allowing AE any closer.

The match turned in the fourth game, after AE built an 18-15 lead. The Wolverines came back with four straight points, but a tip by Chelsea Dery and another ace from Wenkel put AE on the brink of winning the match with a 23-21 lead.

But AGS struck back as Brandi Willett had a pair of kills and Kelsey Heinrich added one for a 24-23, lead, and though Dery scored again to tie it at 24, AE made a pair of hitting errors that gave the Wolverines the win and set up the fifth game.

The Wolverines never trailed in that one, though AE trailed just 12-10. But Heinrich dropped a shot on the line, and Lacy Southworth served up a pair of aces to clinch the win.

"That was the first time in our program's history that we've played a fifth game," Neil said. "I'm sure we were a bit nervous; playing to 15 just isn't the same."

AGS (1-2, 1-2 NSL) hosts Atlanta on Thursday, while the Eagles (0-3, 0-4) travel to Fairview.

AE Stats: Isabel Karter 9 asst; Taylor Jurek 17 asst; Kat Mahon 10 asst; Chelsea Dery 7 aces, 3 blocks, 2 dig, 6 kills, 15 asst; Sara Wenkel 7 aces, 2 digs, 29 asst, 2 kills, 16 points; Erin Ecker 26 asst, 2 kills; Briana Dery 6 aces, 3 digs, 3 tips, 22 asst; 3 kills; Laikin Berry 12 asst.


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