Flivvers repeat as Great 8 champs
STAMBAUGH — Fourteen matches versus seven different opponents in one day. That’s what each of the eight teams faced Saturday at the annual Great 8 Volleyball Tournament held this year at West Iron County Schools.
The Lady Flivvers of Kingsford came out of the round-robin tournament as repeat winners, having won the title in 2018.
“Today was a long day with many ups and downs, but the girls persevered through it to be back-to-back Great 8 champs,” said Kingsford head coach Jaclynn Kreider. “I am proud of them for staying focused and never giving up.
“We had a hard time getting into a rhythm with the short sets, but they found a way to get it done. There are a lot of solid, competitive teams at this tournament so it is an honor to bring the trophy back to Kingsford.”
The Florence Lady Bobcats, with the smallest roster at the tournament, finished second. Head coach Joan Canfield was very proud of her team’s performance on Saturday. “For coming here with six varsity players and using two JV players who are freshmen, who did play well. I am very pleased with a second place finish,” Canfield said.
Remarking how her team kept their focus after Kendra Milan re-injured her knee, Canfield also said, “We were low on height but heavy on heart today. I like this tournament, it gives us a chance to play teams we don’t face other than here at the tournament.”
Also remarking how the tournament format is a good opportunity for playing a few uncommon opponents was West Iron County head coach Brenda Grubbs.
“We played Iron Mountain tough right out of the gates, in our first match,” Grubbs said. We had a huge confidence booster when we split with Kingsford, after losing the first set of the match.”
North Dickinson head coach Sandy Haustein praised senior Kylie Gustafson for being 100% error-free in her serving on the day. “As a team, we weren’t consistent in any aspect of our play today. We swept some teams we would usually struggle against, and got swept by teams we would usually beat,” said Haustein.
Veteran Iron Mountain coach Jeanne Newberry called it “a great tournament,” noting playing in two different gyms “changes the dynamics.”
“I used different lineups today, out of the norm, and the girls responded to it OK … in an attempt to build team unity,” Newberry said.
Norway coach Erika Harnden expressed that the opportunity for the teams involved to play 14 matches in one day is a great thing.
ND 2, WIC 0; ND 1, NOR 1; NIA 2, NOR 0; WIC 1, KING 1; WIC 2, NOR 0; FLO 1, KING 1; ND 2, FP 0; NIA 2, WIC 0; WIC 2, FP 0; NIA 1, KING 1; IM 2, NOR 0; FLO 1, WIC 1; NIA 1, FP 1; NIA 2, ND 0; FLO 2, NIA 0; IM 1, FLO 1; IM 1, NIA 1; KING 2, IM 0; FP 1, FLO 1; FP 2, IM 0; KING 2, FP 0; KING 2, NOR 0; FP 2, NOR 0; WIC 2, IM 0; WIC 2 NOR 0.