The Northwestern High School volleyball team opened play in the Heart O’ North Conference with a 3-0 home win over Hayward Thursday, Sept. 12, then went 1-5 in the Osceola Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 14.

In the 25-10- 25-10, 25-22 win over Cumberland, the Tigers were led by Brooke Ogren, 12 kills and nine digs; Brynn Erickson, six kills and 18 digs; Tayva Plasch, 28 assists; Brynn Hessel, five kills and 13 digs; Jaydon Goette, four kills; and Allison Luoma, three kills and 13 digs.

Northwestern High School's Tayva Plasch (10) celebrates a point during the second game of the Tigers’ 3-0 win over Hayward Thursday, Sept. 12, in Maple. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)
Northwestern High School's Tayva Plasch (10) celebrates a point during the second game of the Tigers’ 3-0 win over Hayward Thursday, Sept. 12, in Maple. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

“The girls did a great job controlling the ball in serve receive and on defense, we didn't have to work as hard to get some good swings.” NHS coach Charlie Hessel said. “Tayva did a nice job spreading the ball around and our hitters kept the pressure on Hayward's defense. Our block shut down several of their swings, and when they went around or over us, someone in the backcourt was there for the dig.

“It was a good win for us to start conference play.”

Northwestern High School's Allison Luoma (11) passes the ball during the first game of the Tigers’ 3-0 win over Hayward Thursday, Sept. 12, in Maple. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)
Northwestern High School's Allison Luoma (11) passes the ball during the first game of the Tigers’ 3-0 win over Hayward Thursday, Sept. 12, in Maple. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

In Osceola, the Tigers’ win was over St. Croix Central and their losses were to Barron, Rice Lake, St. Croix Falls and Clear Lake.

“This tournament was comprised of very solid teams and some phenomenal volleyball players,” Hessel said. “We played six really tough matches in a row, and never quit. It was a great experience which will help us as the season moves forward.”

Northwestern High School's Tayva Plasch sets the ball during the second game of the Tigers’ 3-0 win over Hayward Thursday, Sept. 12, in Maple. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)
Northwestern High School's Tayva Plasch sets the ball during the second game of the Tigers’ 3-0 win over Hayward Thursday, Sept. 12, in Maple. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

Leading the Tigers on Saturday were Erickson, 23 kills and 40 digs; Luoma, 18 kills and 18 digs; Hessel, 15 kills and 22 digs; Ogren, 14 kills and 26 digs; Goette, 15 kills; and Plasch, 74 set assists and 25 digs.

The Tigers (5-13) are at Ladysmith at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19.

Osceola Invitational

Barron def. Northwestern 25-23, 25-15
Rice Lake def. Northwestern 25-14, 25-10
St. Croix Falls def. Northwestern 25-14, 25-18
Osceola def. Northwestern 25-17, 25-15
Northwestern def. St. Croix Central 19-25, 25-23, 15-10
Clear Lake def. Northwestern 25-17, 25-12