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Thrilling late rally saves West Iron County’s season

November 2, 2012
The Daily News


Sports Editor

IRON MOUNTAIN - There were several moments Thursday night when the West Iron County volleyball season looked to be over.

Article Photos

Theresa Peterson/The Daily News Photo
West Iron County’s Emilie Christensen slams a point for the Wykons during Thursday’s Class C district final against Ironwood.

Somebody just forgot to tell the Wykons.

Rallying from a two-set deficit and escaping a 14-11 hole in the decisive fifth set, West Iron County completed an improbable district championship run with a 25-27, 24-26, 25-18, 25-22, 16-14 victory over Ironwood in a MHSAA Class C final at Iron Mountain High School.

"I don't know what I thought," Wykons coach Brenda Grubbs said of her mindset when she called a timeout in the fifth set with her team down 14-11. "I knew if we could just get that last side out that our serves were good.

The side out came in the form of an over ball that managed to find a hole among the Red Devils. Then stepped in Cassilyn Pellizzer to the serving stripe.

Her first dropped in, untouched, for an ace. Her second threw off the Red Devils just enough to where they were called for a lift trying to set up an attack.

The next serve, another ace, and suddenly a 15-14 Wykons lead.

"I was surprised," Grubbs said. "I don't think we are that powerful of servers. We're just consistent. So I was surprised that Cassie had the aces."

Emilie Christensen, about unstoppable from the middle all match, ended the thrilling affair with a high swing and powerful left-handed slam to the floor.

"Ironwood was just so much better than what we've seen all year long," Grubbs said. "I'm so glad we fought till the end. These girls are proof of what can happen when you never give up.

"It was crazy. They played as a team, They played with what they know, and they fought till the end."

West Iron County, which upset favorite Iron Mountain Tuesday is the first team other than the Mountaineers to come out of this district with the trophy since 2002 when West Iron last won a district crown.

"We're glad to be able to bring it back," Grubbs said.

The Wykons head to Norway High School for a 5 p.m. regional match Tuesday against Stephenson, a 3-1 district final winner over Manistique. Calumet and Ishpeming fill the other side of the bracket.



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