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Lady Trojans bounce back after tough loss

CRYSTAL FALLS—The Forest Park volleyball team had not dropped a dual match in nearly a month until last week when Mid Peninsula came to Crystal Falls and edged the Lady Trojans in five sets.
    Nevertheless, Forest Park did not let that loss linger as the Lady Trojans posted their sixth dual win in their last seven with a sweep of host Rapid River on Oct. 17.
    In the victory, Mercedes Simmons had another big night with 20 kills, 12 digs and two solo blocks. Sydney Honkala ran the offense with 16 assists and added 13 digs, four aces and four kills for Forest Park (8-3 duals).
    Chloe Sundell added three kills, while Kelsey Ragio chipped in with 11 digs, two aces and two kills.
    Two days prior, FP and Mid Peninsula staged a battle that would not end until the teams had pushed the match to the limit. The Wolverines finished on top of the see-saw match, posting a 25-19, 20-25, 25-20, 13-25, 15-8 victory at Eddie Chambers Gymnasium.
    Simmons led the way with 32 kills, 25 digs, six solo blocks and two aces. Ragio logged 16 digs and six kills, while Elaina Perry added eight digs, six kills, one ace and one assist.
    Caitlyn Bloomberg chipped in with nine digs, three aces and a kill and Megan Bucek supplied three assists, two digs and one kill.
    “Mid Pen has a solid team that covers the floor well and finds the openings against their opponent,” FP coach Ana Valesano said. “We had a hard time with not being able to read their hitters tonight. By the third set we started to figure out where their tendencies were for placing the ball.”
    Valesano added that the up-and-down nature of the match was taxing.
    “It was difficult for us to gain any momentum when we were all over the place. I was pleased to see our team keep pushing forward even if we were down in the set.”
    The FP junior varsity team defeated Mid Peninsula 2-0.
    The Lady Trojans have two matches on their schedule this week with a rematch against West Iron on Tuesday before a home date with North Dickinson on Thursday. Forest Park defeated the Wykons in five sets in Crystal Falls on Oct. 1.