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It's domination for Esko on the court

Barnum still trying to find its footing

Esko and Barnum met in girls volleyball Thursday with Esko dominating its southern neighbor, and improving their record to 11-3 with the win.

"So far so good," said Esko coach Pete Stasiuk. "We lost to Hermantown in the second week of the season - a game I thought we should have won - but since then we've been playing well, although I'd like to see some more consistency."

While Esko has a deep team, the Bombers are entering a new era with a new coach. Amanda Nordstrom has taken over the program and is still working to find where everyone fits into the overall team scheme.

"We have all new coaches all the way down to seventh grade, so we are still getting to know the girls," said Nordstrom, the daughter of longtime Carlton volleyball coach Barb Soukkala. "Right now we are working on confidence-building and teaching the girls not to be scared or intimidated by any team they play."

Esko was led at the net by power hitter Kyra Johnson, who slammed home 10 kills, along with Maya Johnson, who added six kills.

"Kyra is our leader on and off the court," Stasiuk said. "She leads us in kills, but we have a lot of depth and we have a lot of girls who can hit for us. We can go seven hitters deep and that gives us a good range of hitters each game."

Esko won 25-17, 25-6 and 25-17.

"After that second game when we really struggled, we could have folded and we didn't," said Nordstrom of the Bombers. "Our focus so far has been on trusting each other and our culture and the wins and good things will follow."

The Bombers leader on offense is senior setter Annaka Bogenholm, who runs the offense Barnum employs on the floor.

"She is our leader on and off the court," Nordstrom said.

Against Esko, Barnum was led in the kills department by Aili Lund and Ivy Polecheck, who both finished with three kills apiece.

On Monday night, the Bombers fell 3-0 to Rush City. Next up for Esko was a Thursday night match against a good South Ridge team.

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