CRYSTAL FALLS—It’s still early in the season, and Forest Park’s volleyball team isn’t in mid-season form quite yet. But they’re on their way.
The Lady Trojans took home their first trophy of the year in Iron River Sept. 7 by taking first place at the Great Eight Fall Classic, hosted by West Iron County.
Forest Park won the event with a record of 12-2. They split with North Dickinson (16-21, 21-12) and West Iron (17-21, 21-19) and swept everyone else (Florence, 21-15, 22-20; Iron Mountain, 21-12, 21-12; Kingsford, 21-17, 22-20; Niagara, 21-12, 21-11; and Norway, 21-6, 21-8).
Florence was second (9-5) and West Iron and North Dickinson tied for third (8-6).
Coach Kim Bjork said her team had its ups and downs. We managed to pull out some close matches [needing 22 points twice]. “They dug and they fought to the end.”
West Iron won its first game, and the teams battled hard in the second game. The Wykons led 19-17 and badly wanted the sweep, but Lexi Gussert’s kill got the serve to Maria Stankewicz, who served in three points for the win, on an ace and two Gussert kills.
“A true competitor,” the coach said of her star senior. “She doesn’t want to lose, and she’ll do everything in her power to make sure we don’t lose.
“But we need other girls to step up as well.” She is looking for better passing and communication on the floor.
• The Lady Trojans went to 2-0 in the Skyline Conference Sept. 5 with a 3-0 win over Bark River-Harris, pleasing a Parents Night crowd. Scores were 25-12, 25-15, 25-16.
Coach Bjork said the Lady Trojans were slow to the ball. “Our passes weren’t consistent,” she said, “so we never really had a good flow on offense.”
The hitting, though, was on the mark, as the girls took advantage of open hitting lanes. “We are still a work in progress,” said Bjork, “but this group works hard, and they are motivated to get better.”
Stat leaders: Lexi Gussert, 14 kills, 10 aces. Libby Shamion, 5 kills, 3 aces; Kendra Campbell, Susie Toivonen. both 5 kills; Kelsie Hendrickson, 5 digs; Maria Stankewicz, 27 assists.
• The Lady Trojans visited Mid Peninsula Sept. 10, their only match this week. They host North Dickinson next Tuesday, Sept. 17. The JV team has a tourney in Iron Mountain Sept. 14.