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FP outlasts WIC in rollercoaster five-setter

Forest Park seniors Kelsey Ragio (left) and Mercedes Simmons (11) provided a formidable block as they send a ball back at West Iron’s Mya Grubbs (11), Courtney Reitmeyer (left) and McKenna Kegley during the Lady Trojans’ five-set win at Eddie Chambers Gymnasium.

CRYSTAL FALLS—The cross-county volleyball match between Forest Park and West Iron County on Oct. 1 could have given vertigo to even the steadiest of people.
    First the Wykons jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the opening set. Then the Lady Trojans assumed command and captured both the first and second sets and appeared to be on their way to a sweep.
    But that was not to be. West Iron rallied to win the third and fourth sets before Forest Park claimed the deciding fifth set to score a 25-18, 25-15, 22-25, 25-27, 15-11 victory in a nonconference match at Eddie Chambers Gymnasium.
    “It was just a rollercoaster, up and down,” FP coach Ana Valesano said. “It wasn’t as consistent as I would like it to be. When we got to the third set, we were like ‘OK girls, we’re taking this one and going home.
    “But then we like to lay an egg a little bit. But then (we) came back.”
    It was Forest Park’s second consecutive five-set win in which the Lady Trojans won the first two sets and dropped the next two before steadying themselves for the win.
    “It was very interesting, senior middle Mercedes Simmons said. “It was very stressful. I think we just lose momentum. We get caught up in how long we’re playing and then when we’re down to the last game and we know this is it, that’s when we really kick it in.”
    On the other side, West Iron coach Brenda Grubbs spoke of with her team’s poor start.
    “They just weren’t focused,’ Grubbs said of her squad which struggled to pass accurately, especially in the first two sets. “It’s hard to make a volleyball serve pass if you’re not focused and you’re not ready.
    “What I noticed in the first two games was they were back on their heels and you can’t do anything when you’re on your heels.”

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