The Spooner Rails left Maple with a 3-1 (25-23, 25-18, 15-25, 25-18) win over the Northwestern High School volleyball team Tuesday, Oct. 15.

The loss drops the Tigers to 11-23 overall and 4-3 in the Heart O’ North Conference.

Northwestern was led by Brooke Ogren, 12 kills; Allison Luoma, eight kills; Brynn Hessel, four kills and 12 digs; Brynn Erickson, three kills and 11 digs; and Tayva Plasch, 27 set assists.

In earlier action, the Tigers were swept 3-0 at Barron on Thursday, Oct. 10, then went 2-2 in the Cumberland Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 12.

“Both teams played well, but Barron was just a little more consistent,” NHS coach Charlie Hessel said. “We have been playing some good volleyball, and are right there in every match, but have been coming up just short.”

Northwestern then defeated Bayfield and Chetek-Weyerhaeuser and lost to Ladysmith and the host Beavers in the Cumberland tournament.

“We started out slow, but really started to pick it up in the second set of the C-W match,” Hessel said. “We were down 14-9 in the third before coming back to win. The girls did a great job of staying aggressive and not panicking.

“We were also down big against Cumberland in the second set, 10-plus points, but made a run. We battled hard, but ran out of gas in the end.”

The Tigers, who played at Bloomer on Thursday, Oct. 17, are the No.12 seed for the upcoming WIAA playoffs and play at No. 5 Ashland at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Barron def. Northwestern 25-21, 25-17, 25-19 — N: Brynn Erickson, 9K, 15D; Brynn Hessel, 7K, 13D; Brooke Ogren, 6K, 11D; Tayva Plasch, 24SA.

Cumberland Invitational

Ladysmith def. Northwestern, 25-9, 29-27
Northwestern def. Bayfield, 25-17, 25-22
Northwestern def. Chetek-Weyerhaeuser, 11-25, 25-14, 20-18
Cumberland def. Northwestern, 25-17, 25-22

Northwestern stat leaders

Brynn Erickson, 26K, 48D; Allison Luoma, 17K, 43D; Brooke Ogren, 17K, 41D; Brynn Hessel, 17K, 20D; Jaydon Goette, 14K, 16D; Tayva Plasch, 82SA, 32D.

‘C’ team football

Northwestern’s ‘C’ football team improved to 7-1 with a season-ending 28-16 win over Bloomer on Monday Oct. 14.

The win marked the team’s sixth straight home victory, but the Tigers were playing for more than just a victory. The team decided to dedicate its final contest to Esko’s Jackson Pfister, who lost his life during a football game last week.

“Our message before the game was the importance of living life to its fullest and cherishing every moment. Not only with football, but with friends, family and everyday life,” NHS coach Nick Olson said. “Our captains told the team that they needed to play like every play was their last because you never know when it might be.”

The Tigers did just that and for the third straight game they did not allow a score until the fourth quarter.

Offensively the Tigers gained 317 yards, averaging 8.6 yards a carry and moving the chains for a first down on one of every four plays.

Tanner Kaufman led the way with 135 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Cam Benesch added 105 yards and a touchdown, and Wyatt Dumonson ran for 21 yards and touchdown.

Quarterback Luke Sedin threw a two-point conversion pass on a fake FG to Trevor Eliason and later Eliason caught a 20-yard pass from Kaufman on a reverse trick play.

Kaufman had eight total tackles and a tackle for loss, Shane Schiff Jr. had seven tackles, and Landon Connors and Dumonson finished with five and a tackle for loss.

On the season, Sedin went 26-for-50 for 342 passing yards and four TDs. Kaufman finished with 725 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns, Dumonson had 291 yards rushing, 126

receiving and five TDs; and Bryce Oswskey finished with 99 yards.

Jace Nelson led the Tigers with three receiving touchdowns and 100 yards and Eliason finished with 71 yards.

Kaufman led the team with 44 tackles and six sacks, Dumonson had 36 tackles, Payton Kurtz finished with 25, and Kellen Traut had 23. Nelson also had three interceptions and Evan Moreau had one.

“While most of our team did not know Jackson, some of our players did,” Olson said. “We did our best to honor him while playing the sport he loved to play. I am not a very spiritual person, but I couldn’t help but feel his presence out there. I think he had something to do with our performance Monday.”