Esko rolls to semifinals


November 3, 2023

Dave Harwig

Esko's Maya Johnson (15) and Kallie Sinnott (14) set up a block against Pine City's Abigayle Aagaard during Friday night's 7AA quarterfinal volleyball match.

Section 7AA volleyball action tipped off Oct. 25 with three Carlton County teams in action. All three of our local teams played in the south side of the bracket with only one of those teams - Esko - advancing after the first two rounds.

Esko, the No. 2 seed in the south, opened the first round with an easy 3-0 win over Hinckley-Finlayson.

"That match went about how we thought it would," said Esko coach Pete Stasiuk.

Esko added another win to its resume Friday, Oct. 27 by knocking off Pine City, which had defeated Moose Lake/Willow River by a score of 3-1.

"We had seen them play in our tournament, but we hadn't played them head to head," said Stasiuk. "We were confident going into the game, but they surprised us a bit in how tough they were defensively. Once we got things situated, our blockers kind of took over the game and we got the win."

Esko's record currently stands at 23-4.

Esko's win moved them into the semifinals against Mesabi East late Wednesday at Hermantown. The Giants are the No. 1 seed from the North.

Dave Harwig

Esko volleyball coach Pete Stasiuk talks to players during a timeout in Friday night's section 7AA quarterfinal volleyball match with Pine City.

"We haven't played Mesabi East this year, so again it is a case where we don't know a lot other than what we see on film," said Stasiuk. "They have a couple of good hitters, so we know we'll have to play well."

Should Esko win, they would move on; the finals are set for Saturday, Nov. 4 at Hermantown.

In other Section 7AA action:

Round 1 saw Barnum drop a 3-0 decision to Duluth Marshall at Marshall High School. Barnum finished the season with a record of 10-14. Marshall and Barnum did not meet during the regular season.

Moose Lake/Willow River traveled to Pine City, and fell to the Dragons 3-0. The Rebels ended their season with a 10-15 record.


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