The Port Huron Northern volleyball team has a talented roster.
But throughout the season, Northern has often hurt itself with costly mistakes that have not allowed the Huskies to realize their full potential.
On Tuesday night at Northern, the Huskies showed their ability against Grosse Pointe North but also made several key mistakes. It all amounted to a competitive 22-25, 17-25, 25-22 and 19-25 Macomb Area Conference Red Division loss.
Brooke Bowerman had 28 assists and six kills to pace the Huskies (1-9, 13-22-2). Jillian Rusch had 11 digs, three service points and two aces, Heidi Wilson had seven digs and two service points and Sami Klink had eight kills and nine digs.
“I think we got caught up in the excitement of senior night and we were kind of rushing,” Wilson said. “I think that made the difference in the games. When we play to our full potential we are a very good team but consistency is our issue.”
Northern battled Grosse Pointe North (5-5, 18-20-4) point by point in the first game. After trailing 22-18, Northern pulled within 23-22. But then served the ball into their own net and North went on for a 25-22 victory.
That would be a theme the remainder of the night. In Game 2, the Huskies fell behind 9-4 early and later trailed 14-7 before mounting a comeback. The Huskies pulled within 16-11 before serving the ball out of bounds and Grosse Pointe North then answered with its own run.
They took a 20-12 lead and never looked back while winning 25-17.
In the third game, the Huskies were at their best. They took a 10-6 lead and also led 15-11. After Grosse Pointe North tied the game at 16 and later 18, is seemed the Huskies might fall short. But even after going down 20-18, the Huskies continued to fight back.
They went on a run to take a 22-19 advantage and later closed out the game at 25-22 with a block.
In the fourth game, however, Northern’s mistakes crept back up again. After tying the game at 10, Northern fall victim to several errors and that allowed Grosse Pointe North to take a 13-11 lead that eventually turned into a 20-15 advantage and ultimately a 19-25 loss.
“(Consistency) has been our struggle all year,” Rusch said. “We get down at a point and it continues until we get a point. We have to work on talking to each other and being loud and being happy.
“I feel like we have to bring it in practice and come together as a team, which we can do. We just have to work on our hitting and work on our hitting at the net. I think our defense is really good. It was mixed emotions tonight. I love playing here but it was really sad. I played here for four years. It’s a home.”
Fortunately for Rusch and the other Northern seniors, they will have at least one more home game. Northern opens district play Tuesday at home against Anchor Bay.
“The first game we missed nine serves and only lose by three points,” Northern coach Tim Langolf said. “That’s something we have struggled with all year. When we are good, we can play with anyone because we have the firepower that is starting to come along. We played really well tonight. North is the real deal.
“I wish I could harness when they are playing well. It’s all about getting them to eliminate the mistakes. They know (next week) is a brand new season and we are lucky enough to host a game starting out.”
Contact Joseph Hayes at (810) 989-6268 or at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @jhayes1136..