By JOHN VRANCIC
For The Daily News
POWERS - The Forest Park Trojans overcame an inspired effort by North Central Monday night as they handed the Jets a 25-16, 25-16, 25-18 volleyball loss.
North Central mounted bit of a challenge in the third set, tying the score at 11 on a net violation by the Trojans.
But the Jets then committed a serving error, sending Forest Park ahead to stay.
Back-to-back kills by sophomore outside hitter Libby Shamion then gave the Trojans a 14-11 lead.
The teams then traded sideouts before senior defensive specialist Hannah Marinoff hit a five-point service run to put Forest Park up 20-12.
The Jets, however, didn't just go away as they pulled within 24-18 on a hitting error prior to a match-clinching kill by senior middle hitter Lexi Gussert.
"The girls played very hard," said Jets' coach Andy DeBock. "They maintained the attitude and gave a good last-ditch effort in the third set."
North Central also attempted a comeback in the second set after back-to-back kills by Gussert gave the Trojans a 15-7 advantage.
The Jets then fought back within 19-15 on a kill by senior middle hitter Paige Whitens. Serving errors, however, prevented them from getting any closer.
"We missed seven serves in the second set, which really hurt us," said DeBock. "We need to improve upon that. Our serving needs to be more consistent."
The opening set had a similar start to the finale as the Jets tied the score at eight on a service ace by senior Kennedy Faccio.
Forest Park, however, regained the lead on a kill by Gussert as the Trojans then continued to pull away.
"We didn't play very well," said Forest Park coach Kim Bjork. "We had too many unforced errors and had problems with communication. We also weren't moving to the ball. We looked sluggish. I think we relaxed the whole match."
Gussert finished with 24 kills and Shamion added five. Sophomore setter Maria Stankewicz collected 33 assists and four digs.
"Lexi is tough in the middle," said DeBock. "She's a very knowledgeable player and their team surrounds her very well. They're very disciplined and that's one of the reasons why I like playing them."
Whitens led the Jets at the net with seven kills and four blocks. Senior Morgan Wells added four kills and three blocks and classmate Kelsey LaBonte had four kills.
Freshman RayAnn LaFord was North Central's defensive leader with eight digs.
"They (Jets) got to a lot of balls we didn't expect them to," said Bjork. "They're improving. Sometimes we're clicking and doing real well. Other times we're out of sync. We're looking for more consistency."
Forest Park (22-1-5, 10-0 Skyline) resumes Thursday by hosting Rapid River. Jets visit Big Bay de Noc Thursday.
Forest Park - Marinoff (one dig), Gussert (24 kills, two aces, one dig, two blocks), Shamion (five kills, two aces, two digs), Stankewicz (33 assists, one kill, four digs), Steiro (three kills), Isaacson (three kills, one ace, two digs, one block).
North Central - Whitens (seven kills, four blocks, five digs); Wells (four kills, three blocks, five digs); LaBonte (four kills), Faccio (one ace, nine assists, two digs); LaFord (eight digs).