Lady Trojans notch first win

CRYSTAL FALLS—The Forest Park volleyball team certainly didn’t start the season wary of taking on tough competition. The Lady Trojans competed in the Kingsford Invitational in mid-August to start the season, then after a dual-match loss at Carney-Nadeau, headed to the Great 8 tournament in Norway.
    After that rough stretch, the Lady Trojans stood at 0-7-4. But coach Ana Cornelia’s squad stayed with it and earned its first victory of the season with a 25-15, 25-21, 25-21 triumph at Superior Central on Sept. 6.
    Mercedes Simmons powered down 10 kills and added a block and an assist to lead the FP offense. Sydney Honkala dished out 11 assists and added two aces, two kills and two digs, while Kelsey Ragio recorded five kills and a dig and Laina Toivonen chipped in with two kills and two aces.
    Elle Soderberg topped her team in blocks with three, while Cassie Devine registered two. Destiny Ferrara paced FP’s defense with three digs.
    Cornelia was encouraged to see her team begin the match so well.
    “I was happy to see the girls play strong with a sense of urgency in the first set. Then in the other two sets, there were unforced errors that they couldn’t shake mentally.”
    Still, the Lady Trojans responded and kept the Cougars at bay.
    “I give (our girls) credit because they picked each other up and fought back during the tough times together as a team,” Cornelia said.
    Forest Park begins a busy week by hosting North Dickinson on Tuesday. After a trip to Big Bay de Noc on Thursday, the Lady Trojans will hold their invitational Saturday.