Cassilyn Pellizzer sends a shot into the Hancock end during West Iron’s 3-0 win on Sept. 18. Nearby are Amy Richardson, Abby Grubbs (11), Megan Eagloski and Kim Spigarelli.
IRON RIVER—West Iron’s volleyball team had its best day of the early season Sept. 18, defeating Hancock 3-0. The scores were 25-22. 25-18 and 25-21.
The Wykons visited Houghton on Sept. 20 and lost to the Gemlins 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-14). No other information on that match was available.
Quick starts: Against Hancock, the Wykons broke out crisply in all three sets but later fell into a lull that let the Bulldogs get close—before finishing them off.
“We did an awesome job competing, controlling and playing our game,” Coach Brenda Grubbs said later. “I think the more experience they have at that, they’re not going to worry if an older group [of opponents] is out there.”
West Iron has young lineup—so does Hancock, for that matter—and it came up big when it mattered most.
In the first set, a four-point serving spell by Alexis Golfis gave West Iron a lead it never gave up. Cassilyn Pellizzer and Abbie Grubbs took the lead to 16-10 before the Bulldogs rallied to tie it at 17 and 18. That’s when Megan Eagloski struck for five, helped by an ace and two kills from Grubbs, to make it 24-18.
Undaunted, Hancock rallied again. WIC’s lead was down to 24-22 before Pellizzer’s kill got the winning point.
Sub time: When the Wykons had opened up a good lead, the coach sent in some of her younger players to get experience. She said she told one girl, “The score is enough where I’m not taking you out. You’re going to make it a success.” She did.
The lead did shrink while the reserves played, but that wasn’t the only reason, said the coach. “They [Hancock] had a good server at that time, too.”
In set two, four points from Grubbs and five from Eagloski boosted WIC to a 12-5 lead. Hancock didn’t get closer than five points after that. Grubbs had three aces in that set, and Eagloski had two.
In the third set, neither team could get much offense going until Richardson served two late in the first rotation, putting WIC ahead 10-5. Hancock rallied back for a 14-12 lead, but West Iron tied it at 14. Libero Ashley Capadagli put West Iron ahead for good with three service points for an 18-15 lead. Hancock never got any closer.
In the middle: A recent change to the team’s lineup has bolstered the team’s play. Midway through the recent Forest Park Invitational, Grubbs swithed players around, with Pellizzer taking the middle hitter job and Morgan Eagloski switching outside.
Pellizzer hadn’t played middle before, but “It just seemed like a natural fit.” A few days later, Pellizzer was back in the middle against Hancock.
“We’re a different team after Saturday afternoon,” the coach said. “It just has a different feel to it.”
Emilie Christensen (WIC’s only senior), Pellizzer, Abbie Grubbs and setter Amy Richardson led West Iron’s game on the floor. “Those four have confidence in each other,” the coach noted. “When they click, then the others seem to go in with them.”
• Coming up: The Wykons host Forest Park on Sept. 25 and both Northland Pines and L’Anse Sept. 27. They take part in the Ironwood Invitational Sept. 29 and visit Chassell Oct. 2.