Volleyball: Thunder are champs of Pine City tournament

The Zimmerman Thunder rolled to four victories on Saturday to capture the championship of the Pine City tournament.

The Thunder (6-2) beat Moose Lake-Willow River 25-14, 25-13 in the finals. To get there, the Thunder bet Unity (WI) 25-15, 25-23; Braham 25-3, 19-25, 15-8; and East Central 25-13, 25-21.

Senior outside hitter Nikki O’Keefe led the Thunder with 31 kills, 10 aces and 30 digs for the day. Brooke Borchardt chipped in 37 kills, nine aces, and seven kill blocks.

Amanda Meleen made 67 assists, Cassie Ortberg 23 digs, Morgan Feldick six aces (in 50 serves) and 13 digs, and Gabby Antolak five kills and five kill blocks off the bench.

“We had great team wins,” commented coach Rita Belka. “We are working better together and starting to come together as a team. We served extremely well with 18 aces.”

The Thunder will host Becker on Tuesday.

Loss to Mora

The Thunder lost to Mora 25-10, 25-21, 25-18 on Thursday, with faulty passing throughout as Mora took them out of their game.
“We struggled from the beginning and were never able to pull ourselves out of the hole,” said Belka. “Mora has a couple of really strong hitters.”
Borchardt made eight kills and five blocks, and O’Keefe four kills.