‘Scrappy’ Trojans handle West Iron, 3-0

IRON RIVER — Throughout a highly successful volleyball season, the Forest Park Lady Trojans have shown their hitting strength, their serving prowess and their competitiveness.

In a 3-0 (25-23, 25-15, 25-12) sweep of rival West Iron on Tuesday night in Iron River, Forest Park also displayed a defensive toughness that should make the Trojans a tough assignment for any conference and district opponents.

“I think the girls played real hard tonight,” FP coach Bobbie Jo Anderson said. “They were very scrappy tonight. We didn’t let much hit the floor, and if we had a bad pass everyone was running after it and we were able to get it over the net.

“So I was super proud of the way that they played as a team. They communicated and they covered the floor really well.”

Forest Park, which has won seven consecutive matches and 11 of 12 duals this season, played in front nearly the entire night. The first set was tight, however, with the Wykons (3-8 in duals) staying within four points or less.

Kills by sophomore middle hitter Leah Feldhausen, senior middle Gracie Peterson and sophomore outside hitter Ema Stepien helped the Trojans secure a 17-13 lead midway through the opener.

West Iron sophomore Danica Shamion came up with two blocks and Forest Park’s hitting went awry for a bit to help the Wykons take a 20-19 lead heading down the stretch.

It was the one and only time West Iron led all evening.

Stepien recorded a cross-court kill and combined with Feldhausen for a momentum-building block to help FP retake control. From there, senior setter Rayven Jacobson fired an ace and West Iron committed some hitting and passing errors to put the Lady Trojans up one set.

Powered by the serving of Ashlynn Kannich, Audrey Franz and Peterson, the Lady Trojans kept West Iron at arm’s length in the second set. Franz smacked two aces and Peterson had one to spark FP on a 9-2 run that closed out the second set.

“This gym is a nice big open gym so you feel like you have more room to serve,” said Anderson of West Iron’s home gym, the Charles Greenlund Gymnasium. “Gracie had six aces and Ashlynn had four. And they came at key times where it gave us a little momentum.”

The teams split the first six points of the third set, but the Trojans grabbed the momentum shortly after. Peterson served four straight aces and Feldhausen recorded three kills and a block as FP ran out to a 20-9 lead.

Anderson said Feldhausen has improved her play substantially as the season has advanced.

“She’s very quick at the net and she has quick hands. Not only can she block well, but if there’s something tight on the net or even if she gets a touch, she’s able to get a second touch.”

Feldhausen finished with five kills and two blocks. Peterson also recorded five kills, along with 12 digs, while Jacobson dished out a team-high 11 assists.

Kannich had a “spectacular night” according to Anderson finishing with 19 digs.

West Iron is just 1-4 at home so far this campaign. Coach Kelly Sartorelli said her team is capable, but just hasn’t acquired the requi-site self-belief yet.

Shamion and junior middle hitter Calli Pellizzer led the West Iron attack with four and three kills, respectively. Shamion also added two blocks and an ace. Sophomore Adi Franzene led the Wykon servers with four aces.

West Iron won the junior varsity match 2-0.

The evening was West Iron’s “Pink Out” match in which the Wykons wore pink jerseys and raised funds for breast cancer research. The teams trade the honor to host the Pink Out match annually.

FP Stats

Rayven Jacobson 2 kills, 10 digs, 11 assists, 1 ace

Charlie Larson 9 digs, 3 assists, 3 aces

Gracie Peterson 5 kills, 12 digs, 2 block, 6 aces

Ashlynn Kannich 19 digs, 4 aces

Leah Feldhausen 5 kills, 1 dig, 2 blocks,

Ema Stepien 3 kills, 3 digs, 1 block

Audrey Franz 2 digs, 3 aces

Maddie Divine 1 dig, 1 ace,

Shealyn Curtis 1 dig

Lauren Kudwa 3 kills, 4 digs, 2 assists


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