Huge week for Ely teams

Volleyball team to host home playoff match on Wednesday

by Tom Coombe -

The high school sports season takes center stage this week with three key events in as many days, including the Timberwolves’ first home volleyball playoff match in recent memory.
After a school-record 19 regular season victories, the volleyball team will host a Section 7A playoff match at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
One night earlier, the high school football team begins its quest for a third consecutive state tournament berth when it travels to Bigfork for a section quarterfinal game at 7 p.m.
Thursday, the Ely cross country teams will both be in Cloquet for the Section 7A competition, slated for 11 a.m, Ely will seek a third straight trip to state for both its boys and girls teams.
The flurry this week comes on the heels of a busy fall season.
Ely’s volleyball team will be seeded either third or fourth in the north half of Section 7A, and Cherry and Hill City looming as possible opponents for the rare home playoff match.
Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for students and no passes will be accepted for the Section 7A event.
A win Wednesday would send the Wolves on the road two nights later, either to Deer River or Northwoods.
The defending section champion Ely football team put a scare into top-seeded Northwoods this week. leading 28-14 and 36-22 before several fourth-quarter lapses led to 22 points and a 44-36 Grizzlies win.
Ely finished the regular season 4-4 and will meet Bigfork, with the winner advancing to an Oct. 28 semifinal clash at Northwoods.
Ely’s cross country teams took second (boys) and fourth (girls) at Proctor Tuesday, in what served as a final tune-up for the 7A competition at the Cloquet Country Club.
The Wolves have qualified for state in both boys and girls cross country the last two seasons, and a top-two finish as a team is required to move on state, the following weekend at Northfield.
While playoff action is ahead for football, volleyball and cross country teams this week, the Northeast Range/Ely girls swim team has just its second home regular season meet on Tuesday (5 p.m.) at Babbitt.
The Nighthawks, who have been without a home pool for much of the year because of construction at Babbitt, won’t begin section competition until early-November.