Forest Park Lady Trojans 2016

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Re: Forest Park Lady Trojans 2016

Postby 1stFP#15 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:17 pm

W-M to play Forest Park in district final tonight
November 4, 2016 - By Pat Krause - Daily Globe
WAKEFIELD — Crystal Falls Forest Park swept Bessemer and Wakefield-Marenisco blitzed Watersmeet in the MHSAA Class D District 127 volleyball semifinals on Thursday.
The winning teams will meet tonight at 6 p.m. to determine the 2016 district champion. CFFP has won districts 17 years in a row.
It was evident that W-M coach Jessica Novascone already had Crystal Falls Forest Park on her mind.
"We never get to see them and we never play them," Novascone said. "You have to start quick against them or you'll be in trouble. We have to get that in the girls' heads and get them ready.
"I feel good about going into the district championship game. We lost 26-24 in the final set last year. The girls know they don't want to let their team down, they'll play 100 percent."
Forest Park 3, Bessemer 0
In the opening game of the evening, Forest Park played high-powered volleyball and defeated the Speedgirls 25-9, 25-18, 25-12.
"We did OK and hit the ball well," Trojan coach Kim Bjork said. "We had fairly decent serving. We struggled at times in the second set, but we worked through it. We've played up and down all the time this year and finished in second place in our conference (behind Munising). It was good that all the girls played tonight and contributed something to the win to get some confidence. We always try to get our players better and never be satisfied."
Bessemer coach Shelly Mettler said Forest Park was just too strong mentally and physically.
"We weren't intimidated by them," Mettler said. "They're also very disciplined and they walk out knowing they can get the job done. They have a strong, year-round program and Kim and their girls sacrifice a lot.
"Foot speed has been a problem for us all year and we struggled with the pass and shanked some. But the girls never gave up. Sometimes you're trying to teach the girls life lessons. If the seniors take that to the next level, they will be successful."
In game one, Forest Park's Jenna Grabowski's kill and Hanna Logan's ace got the Lady Trojans started playing the rapid-fire volleyball they are known for.
It was 6-1 before Megan Peterson's kill down the line slowed up Forest Park a little.
But Logan pounded out a cross-court kill and a Bessemer shot into the net gave the Lady Trojans a 16-3 advantage.
"Bessemer has some athletes and some of the pieces to the puzzle," Bjork said. "We wanted to start fast and not let them get any confidence."
Mettler said the fast start has been Forest Park's trademark for years.
"They play that fast tempo and try to get you down quickly," Mettler said.
After Abby Nylund's wicked serve gave Forest Park an 18-5 lead, the Speedgirls had its best series of plays. Caitlin Lynch had a booming kill and Kelsey Kitto served three straight points, including a serve that was too hot for the Forest Park defender to handle.
Bessemer got within 18-9, but Hannah Cross served out the set at 25-9.
Bessemer's Rachel Emery started off game two with a kill, but Forest Park answered back with three kills of its own.
The Lady Trojans went up 10-5, but Bessemer battled back. Hannah Koivisto is a hard server and her service ace tied the set at 11-11. But the Speedgirls mis-hit a few shots and Logan's two aces increased the Forest Park lead to 18-12.
Down the stretch, Bessemer's Samantha Olson slammed a kill, but Forest Park got kills from Logan, and Cross to seal the deal at 25-18.
In game three, the Speedgirls started with three shots into the net and fell behind 4-0. Forest Park's Nola McDowell served seven straight points to take a 15-4 lead.
The Lady Trojans went ahead 22-5, but Bessemer continued to battle on with two strong kills by Lynch. Ciara Novascone made a great dig on a ball that produced a Bessemer point, but Forest Park took the set and match 25-12.
Mettler said Allyson Metas "played unbelievable" with one ace, eight kills and 10 digs. Emery contributed an ace, four kills, a block and seven digs and Olson added one ace, two kills and two digs.
W-M 3, Watersmeet 0
In the late game, Wakefield-Marenisco started fast and never looked back in thumping Watersmeet 25-8, 25-12 and 25-22.
"We played two good sets tonight," Novascone said. "They gave us trouble in the third set and we had a major lull. We had to turn it back on and close it out. We came out to play today. The girls wanted it and we played like we did against Ironwood. We have to tighten up our consistency tomorrow (tonight)."
Ebanie Delich was sharp from the start with her serving as she put 17 points on the board before Watersmeet scored. But she had help from Rachel Obradovich with three kills, a very good hit by Saundra Libertoski, a tip by Abby Ahonen and mis-hits from Watersmeet. Delich notched three strong service aces.
W-M made another surge towards the end of the set and Delich closed it out with two kills to make it 25-8.
In game two, W-M's Alexa Jilek made a tip to the open court for a point and Darienne Korpi's two big kills gave the Cardinals a 10-8 advantage.
Watersmeet's Katelyn Grosso aced W-M to knot the set at 10-10, but the Cardinals ran off six straight points behind Sara Wasielewski's serving and W-M went up 17-11.
Ahonen served W-M's final four points behind her ace and Obradovich's kill. The set finished at 25-12.
In the final set, Watersmeet's Hailey Pallin got the Nimrods moving in the right direction with two low-flying aces to take an 8-6 lead and Watersmeet increased its advantage to 14-12.
After W-M made four hits on one play, the Nimrods were ahead 22-17 and the Cardinals went into rally mode.
Korpi, Delich and Jilek made clutch kills and Elizabeth Makela came through with an ace. Kills by Delich and Jilek made it six straight points and finished off the set and match at 25-22.
Obradovich led the way with 11 kills, two aces and one dig, while Korpi notched five kills and two assists.
Ahonen added one kill, dished out 10 assists and had two service aces.
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Re: Forest Park Lady Trojans 2016

Postby 1stFP#15 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:19 pm

Lady Trojans extend district streak to 17
November 5, 2016 - By PAT KRAUSE - Ironwood Daily Globe
WAKEFIELD - Wakefield-Marenisco's high hopes for an upset of Forest Park in the Class D District 127 volleyball tournament finals were dashed by the fast, up-tempo starts of the Lady Trojans in all three sets Friday.
Forest Park played with a sense of urgency and defeated the Cardinals 25-12, 25-16 and 25-16. It was the 18th straight year CFFP has taken home the district tournament championship trophy.
"To win 18 in a row, you can have the athletes, but if they're not dedicated, working hard and have the discipline, you don't get the continued success," Forest Park coach Kim Bjork said. "This year has been a roller-coaster, but this team has athleticism and plays smart and together."
Bjork said the district streak started in 2001 when she was still a student and player in Crystal Falls.
After winning two earlier games in the district tournament, both W-M coach Jessica Novascone and senior Darienne Korpi said W-M was confident and ready-to-go.
"We were very confident," Korpi said. "They even had a (non-alcoholic) tailgate party in the parking lot to get us ready. Crystal Falls Forest Park came in with the attitude they were going to smoke us, but we were going to put up a fight."
Put up a fight they did, but the story of this night was the Lady Trojans jumping to early big leads that were nearly insurmountable. In the first set, Forest Park took leads of 6-0 and 13-1. In game two, the Lady Trojans went up 9-0 and in the last set, CFFP took a 7-0 lead.
"At the beginning of each set, they took leads of 6-8 to 10 points," Novascone said. "They really started quick. After the first set, we were really nerved up. The girls don't understand that to win, you have to start out with momentum. And we don't play fast teams like this much. Crystal Falls Forest Park looked a lot tougher tonight than last night. They are a very consistent team.
"But we definitely played hard and I'm proud of them. After we lost important players last year, we finished 13-7 this year and there were one or two games we should have won. But the players have stepped up year after year. There were people doubting us and we played tough throughout the year. We were undefeated in our side of the conference."
In game one, CFFP was running like a well-oiled machine and W-M fell behind 13-1. But the Cardinals decided enough was enough. Korpi blocked a shot at the net for a point and followed that up with a kill.
Ebanie Delich notched a kill, but the game was on the brink when Forest Park took a 24-8 lead.
W-M held on. With Abby Ahonen serving, Forest Park hit a return shot up into the ceiling and another shot into the net. Their next hit was air-mailed long and Saundra Libertoski nailed a kill to make it 24-11.
But the Cardinals had to come back too far and lost the set 25-12. After being down 13-1, Forest Park out-scored W-M 12-11 the rest of the way. There were signs of hope W-M could play with the Lady Trojans.
But second set started the same as the first. This time the hole the Cardinals dug for themselves was a 14-3 deficit. Korpi then found a hole in the defense for a kill shot and Alexa Jilek hit the back corner with a shot.
Delich and Rachel Obradovich slammed kills, Forest Park couldn't handle a Delich serve and Libertoski hit a kill off a defender's hands. Being down 19-12 looked a whole lot better than 13-1.
The Cardinals managed to pull within 23-17 after CFFP mis-hit three shots, but Forest Park's Hannah Cross ripped a cross-court kill and W-M hit a shot long as the Lady Trojans took the second set 25-16.
"Wakefield- Marenisco is a good team," Bjork said. "Passing was their downfall tonight. They didn't get a good set-up for their hitters, but they definitely have talent at the net."
In the final set, Forest Park broke fast again and took leads of 7-0, 11-4 and 17-8.
Delich put out the fire with another kill and the Lady Trojans had four hits on one play. Jilek swatted a kill down the middle and Sara Wasielewski smashed a line drive ace that was to hot too handle as the Cardinals narrowed the lead to 22-15.
W-M was still pumped up when Obradovich hit a long kill and Korpi added another kill, but the hill was too high to climb once again and the Lady Trojans closed out the set and match with a 25-16 victory.
Obradovich had her usual good day with seven kills and five digs, while Korpi slammed four kills, three digs and an ace. Delich hit five kills, one ace and had a terrific 15 digs and Ahonen dished out seven assists and dug out three digs.
Forest Park (24-6-4) and Skyline Central Conference foe Rapid River will meet at 5 p.m. (Central time) Tuesday at Ishpeming Westwood in a Class D regional semifinal.
Forest Park performance summary follows:
Emily Faccin - 7 digs
Nola McDowell - 4 aces, 1 kill, 26 assists, 3 digs
Abby Nylund - 3 aces, 4 kills, 1 assist, 8 digs
Jenna Grabowski - 9 kills, 5 solo blocks
Hannah Cross - 5 kills, 10 digs, 2 solo blocks
Taylor Honkala - 1 ace, 9 kills, 8 digs
Hanna Logan - 7 aces, 1 kill, 8 digs
(Pat Krause is with The Daily Globe of Ironwood)
Last edited by 1stFP#15 on Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Forest Park Lady Trojans 2016

Postby 1stFP#15 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:22 pm

Lady Trojans roll to 17th straight district title
By Jerry DeRoche - Iron County Reporter
WAKEFIELD—On one end of the volleyball court stood a hopeful home team with an enthusiastic cheer block supporting it and a mascot to boot.
On the other end of the court stood a confident, poised and battle-tested team with a scattering of fans who made the hour and a half trip from Crystal Falls to Wakefield to watch the Class D District 127
final.
In the end, it was no contest. The Forest Park Lady Trojans jumped out to big leads in each set and never trailed in dispatching the Wakefield-Marenisco Cardinals 25-12, 25-17, 25-16 for their 17th consecutive district title. FP had advanced to the final with
a 25-9, 25-8, 25-12 triumph over Bessemer on Nov. 2.
The Lady Trojans, who advance to face Rapid River in the regional at Westwood on Nov. 8, jumped out to leads of 6-0, 9-0 and 7-0 in extinguishing any hope the Cardinals had of an upset and any belief they may have built.
“I mean, momentum’s huge,” FP coach Kim Bjork said. “We’ve had a tradition of doing well in the tournament, so if we get off to a good start, that just doesn’t let them build any confidence.”
Senior Hanna Logan, who served first in FP’s rotation, sparked the Lady Trojans with one effective serve after another and finished with a game-high seven aces. After a passing error by W-M started
the match, Logan stepped up and delivered the next five points. Fellow senior Jenna Grabowski had two kills in the stretch and Taylor Honkala contributed a cross-court kill to put the Cardinals on their heels immediately.
“Yeah, I feel they were nervous,” Logan said of the Cardinals. “Because I know they haven’t been here (in the district finals) all the time and we’ve been here for a long time, so we were more confi -
dent on the floor.”
Grabowski, a middle hitter, and Honkala, an outside hitter,
finished with nine kills each to lead the Forest Park hitters. With Grabowski on, Forest Park basically controlled the middle of the net for much of the night.
“Blocking is a big deal, and middle hitting is sometimes hard to pass from,” said Grabowski, who also had a team high five solo blocks. “And it helps that you have your backrow people telling
you where to hit, so I have more open spots on the floor.”
Wakefield-Marenisco stopped the string after a hitting error from FP, but the Lady Trojans ran off the next eight points to take a commanding 15-1 lead. Abby Nylund produced two kills and
Nola McDowell fi red an ace during the run.
The Cardinals went on a late 6-0 run, but Grabowski’s kill ended the first set at 25-12.
Logan then stepped forward again to start the second set with three straight aces. Before long, the Lady Trojans led 9-0.
“Hanna did an excellent job at the service line, placing her serves and just finding girls that were struggling on their team,” Bjork said. “That was a big difference in the way we started. They couldn’t
get anything set up to swing at us when she was serving.”
The only blip in the second set for FP came when the
Cardinals cut 10-point deficit to six midway through, but Bjork stabilized her team with a timeout. Grabowki won a joust after the break, while Honkala and Hannah Cross chipped in with kills. Before long, the Lady Trojans were up two sets.
Logan then ran off six consecutive service points at the outset of the third set. Nylund added two aces in the middle and Emily Faccin basically finished off the match with two service points. A Wakefield net violation ended the lopsided affair, and the Lady Trojans
repeated an act they’ve grown quite accustomed to–they accepted
their championship medals and trophy and posed for a slew of photographs.
“Yeah, there is a tradition that everybody expects us to win, so it’s a lot of pressure on us,” Grabowski said. “But we just go out there and do our best.”
Bjork said this year’s team has had more of a rollercoaster year than the previous few, though the Lady Trojans enter the regional with a 26-6-4 record. Bjork said the matches this year have been closer, but her team has almost always found its way to the finish line. That comes from building and maintaining a program with
sustained excellence.
“It’s got to be dedication from the coaches to the players.
Offseason work and discipline. The biggest thing is if we’re not disciplined in practice, if we’re not practicing every day, if we’re not looking at things we can get better at …. I always tell the girls, how we start the year is how we start, but it’s how we finish it. And
that’s our goal every year is just to get better as the season
progresses. And there’s times where we might have that rollercoaster ride, but hopefully by the end of the season we’re
heading up the hill and not looking back.”
McDowell led FP with 26 assists, while Cross topped the team with 10 digs, Nylund had eight and Faccin added seven.
FP defeated Rapid River, which beat Mid-Peninsula 3-1
to win its district, 25-20, 25-21, 25-12, in the only matchup between the teams this season. On the other side of the bracket, Lake Linden-Hubbell beat Baraga 3-0 and CarneyNadeu edged Stephenson 3-2 to advance. The regional final is Nov. 10.
“The way things are in the U.P. this year, especially in
Class D, it’s anybody’s game,” Bjork said. “It really is. Hope we have the ‘on’ night and the other teams don’t, because at
regional time it’s about who shows up.”
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Re: Forest Park Lady Trojans 2016

Postby 1stFP#15 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:24 pm

Forest Park beats Rapid River
November 9, 2016 - By RAY BRESSETTE - For The Daily News
ISHPEMING - The Forest Park High School volleyball team advanced to the Class D regional finals for the 18th consecutive time on Tuesday with a three-set sweep against Rapid River in the semifinals at Westwood High School.
The Rockets stayed within five points of the defending regional champion Trojans in all three sets, but Forest Park ended the match with set wins of 25-20, 25-22 and 25-20.
Forest Park head coach Kim Bjork said she was impressed with her team's ability to succeed facing high pressure all night.
"It was an up-and-down night," Bjork said. "We didn't play consistent, but we found a way to dig through it. We worked through our mistakes and got a big win over a great team."
The Trojans made their offensive approach known early with a consistent strategy to their attack.
"We talked about running uptempo more in the middle of the court," Bjork said. "We wanted to draw a block, then hit (around) it with our outside hitters. If that wasn't open, we wanted to take advantage of a block if (Rapid River's) hitters weren't in position along the net."
Forest Park changed their approach to start the second set, attacking the front half of the court and testing Rapid River's defense around the net, scoring four of their first five points that way.
Rapid River protected their coverage at the net and put together 10 straight points to take a 12-9 lead. The Trojans responded with their short-coverage approach along the net, putting together their own 5-1 streak to regain a 14-13 lead.
The teams kept the set close with several setting errors, but Forest Park ended it by changing their approach once again, this time back to their front defenders setting the spike up for their back hitters and confuse the coverage of Rapid River's defense to take a 2-0 lead.
"For the last two sets, we came out with pretty good leads but made some hard mistakes," Bjork said. "We found ways to score, and that's been our philosophy all season. We're not a team who can jump high and block shots down. We have to find ways to play smart and find openings on the floor."
Forest Park benefitted from the strong serving of Emily Faccin to start the third set by jumping out to a 6-0 lead.
The Rockets responded with a short-game attack along the net to tie it 9-9, but Forest Park's Hanna Logan helped tighten their wall along the net to shut down the Rockets' surge to complete the sweep.
Rapid River head coach Jay Jurkovich was unavailable for comment after the match.
Forest Park moves on to play Carney-Nadeau in the regional championship at 7 p.m. Thursday back at Westwood.
Bjork said the Trojans need to work on their speed to advance past that match.
"Our coverage needs to be 100 percent better," Bjork said. "We were slow on coverage, but we were moving and communicating like a team, which is what we're going to stress in practice.
"At this point, nothing gets slower. It's all faster, and we need to own up to that speed."
Emme Emmers - 1 assist
Emily Faccin - 2 aces, 13 digs
Nola McDowell - 3 aces, 27 assists, 1 dig
Abby Nylund - 2 aces, 5 kills, 1 assist, 6 digs, 1 solo block
Jenna Grabowski - 4 kills, 1 solo block
Hannah Cross - 1 ace, 4 kills, 3 digs, 2 solo blocks
Taylor Honkala - 2 aces, 9 kills, 5 digs
Hanna Logan - 1 ace, 11 kills, 10 digs
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Re: Forest Park Lady Trojans 2016

Postby 1stFP#15 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:26 pm

Lady Trojans triumph again
Volleyball
November 11, 2016 By BURT ANGELI - Sports Writer , Daily News
ISHPEMING - Forest Park rolled past Carney-Nadeau 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-14) for another Class D Region 32 volleyball championship Thursday.
Forest Park posted its 16th regional title in school history and the ninth with Kim Bjork at the helm. The Lady Trojans (26-6-4) and Rogers City, a 3-0 regional winner over Pellston, will meet in the quarterfinals Tuesday at Engadine.
"They did a great job," Bjork said. "That was one of our better matches this year. We had three consistent sets."
The Lady Trojans beat Skyline Central Conference foe Carney for a third time this season. The other matches had 3-1 results.
"Forest Park played very well tonight," Carney Coach Steve Kedsch said. "From what I've seem this was one of Forest Park's better matches.
"I thought we played well. We have nothing to be ashamed of."
After dominating the first set in the Westwood High School gym, Forest Park pulled away to 22-17 in the second set after consecutive net plays from Hanna Logan and a Jenna Grabowski kill. Taylor Honkala and Grabowski closed the set with kills.
The Wolves held a 10-6 lead in the third set before the Trojans got untracked, reeling off 11 straight points with senior Abby Nylund at the serve line. A Breanne Bedgood kill and ace stopped the rush at 18-12.
"We never had a lull except for a little bit in the third," Bjork said. "It wasn't too much that we let them jump ahead of us by too many points."
The Trojans followed with six straight points, getting two kills from Logan and a Hannah Cross ace.
"It was just a great team win," Bjork said. "I keep saying this but everybody contributed. You couldn't pick just one girl to focus on. Everybody was swinging and everybody was doing a good job."
Grabowski led the Trojans with nine kills. Honkala was next with six, followed by Nylund and Logan with five each. Nola McDowell produced 25 assists. Nylund tacked on 17 digs.
Seven Forest Park players made the stat sheet.
"We work together well as a team," said senior libero Emily Faccin. "We are all very close and push each other to do our best.
"Our coach Kim always puts us in the best possible situations in order to succeed and we all want to keep the Forest Park tradition rolling."
While Honkala tallied five of Forest Park's 13 aces, Carney's serving didn't match the performance from Tuesday's five-set regional semifinal win over Lake Linden. Nobody from the Wolves had more than one ace Thursday.
"They didn't serve as well tonight," said Bjork, believing the Wolves had less than a handful of service errors against Lake Linden. "They really like to play a short-court type game so I told the girls we can't be tipping tonight. We have to swing and we have to find the openings, and use the block to our advantage."
Wolves junior Sara Sivula contributed 7 kills and 20 digs. Bedgood chipped in 21 digs and Sarah Jackson had 18. Talisha McCullough notched 9 assists.
"They were running a little quicker offense tonight," Kedsch said. "We weren't really prepared for that. They played great defense, little better than we've seen in the past.
"There was a lot of long volleys. We just came out on the short end of a few of them."
Forest Park performance summary:
Emily Faccin - 2 aces, 3 digs
Nola McDowell - 2 aces, 2 kills, 25 assists, 7 digs
Abby Nylund - 2 aces, 5 kills, 17 digs
Jenna Grabowski - 9 kills
Hannah Cross - 1 ace, 4 kills, 4 digs, 1 solo block
Taylor Honkala - 5 aces, 6 kills, 13 digs
Hanna Logan - 1 ace, 5 kills, 2 assists, 13 digs, 1 solo block
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Re: Forest Park Lady Trojans 2016

Postby 1stFP#15 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:27 pm

Forest Park, Rogers City in rematch
Volleyball
Nov. 14, 2016 - By BURT ANGELI - Sports Writer , Daily News
CRYSTAL FALLS - When the going gets tough, Forest Park Coach Kim Bjork knows her Lady Trojans will respond.
"They're a fun group," Bjork said after sweeping Carney-Nadeau last week for the school's 16th Class D regional volleyball championship. "It just seems when things get a little bit down they find a way.
"Sometimes I get a little over anxious about things and they don't. They keep calm and they seem to rise to the occasion
as far as their competition."
Forest Park (26-6-4) and Rogers City will stage a rematch in the state quarterfinals Tuesday, clashing at 6 p.m. (Central time) at Engadine High School.
The Hurons' scouting report on the Lady Trojans will likely be unable to identify a go-to player.
"We have some very talented girls and well rounded talent," Bjork said. "In the past years we had some girls when we were in trouble we would go to them. But that's another advantage we have. We can go to more than one girl and that keeps teams off balance."
Jenna Grabowski led the team in kills (9) against Carney. Hanna Logan had a team-high 11 in the regional semifinal sweep over Rapid River. Grabowski and Taylor Honkala shared the kill lead at 9 in the district final with Wakefield-Marenisco.
"It's a tradition, so we have to keep it going," Abby Nylund, another front-row threat, told the media after the regional championship.
Forest Park downed Rogers City 3-1 in last year's quarterfinal.
"We came into the quarterfinals last year not really knowing what to expect," said Rogers City Coach Jackie Quaine said. "We're not going to do anything new or special. We'll just continue doing what we do and playing our game."
Rogers City advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Pellston 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-9).
"We didn't back down and we played smart and stuck together," Quaine said. "These girls are so happy to be back and to do this again is so special.
"We had the attitude all season long that we expected to be back in this spot and here we are."
Kayla Rabeau led the Hurons with 12 digs, 10 kills and six aces. Taylor Fleming added 17 kills and three blocks. Erika Peacock dished out 13 assists.
Forest Park-Rogers City winner will face Auburn Hills Christian or Portland St. Patrick in the state semifinals at 1 p.m. Friday at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek. Auburn Hills Christian is ranked sixth in the Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association state poll.
In the other Class D quarterfinals, No. 1 Plymouth Christian meets No. 2 Mendon and No. 3 Leland takes on Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart.
In a Class C quarterfinal Tuesday, Calumet and No. 5 Traverse City St. Francis will square off at Charlevoix.
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Re: Forest Park Lady Trojans 2016

Postby 1stFP#15 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:29 pm

Forest Park eliminated with loss to Rogers City
Nov. 16, 2016 - By JOHN VRANCIC - For The Daily News
ENGADINE - Things didn't quite work out the way Forest Park hoped Tuesday night in a 3-1 (25-23, 26-24, 17-25, 25-23) loss to Rogers City in a Class D state quarterfinal match at Engadine High School.
The victory puts the Hurons in Friday's semifinals in Battle Creek, where they'll face Auburn Hills Oakland Christian.
Tuesday's match was tight all the way as momentum swung back and forth throughout.
The loss also marked the last match for Forest Park's Kim Bjork, who chose to step down as volleyball coach, but will continue to coach the girls' JV basketball team at the school.
"The girls left everything on the court," she said. "They did everything they could, but it wasn't meant to be. The girls worked hard all season. They have a lot to be proud of."
Forest Park appeared to be in position to force a fifth set when it took a 23-22 lead in the fourth on a kill by junior middle hitter Hannah Cross.
The Hurons, however, scored the final three points with senior outside hitter Saige Wagner sealing the verdict with a service ace which landed a few inches inside the back line.
"We all thought the last serve was out," Bjork said. "There were times when we thought momentum was going our way. We just couldn't hold enough momentum when No. 4 (sophomore middle hitter Taylor Fleming) was out."
Forest Park trailed 15-9 in the finale, but rallied to tie the score at 15 by taking advantage of four straight Hurons' miscues and a kill by junior Taylor Honkala.
The lead then see-sawed between the teams, setting the stage for a nailbiting finish.
"They're a great team," Rogers City coach Jackie Quaine said of the Trojans. "They have a great setter (junior Nola McDowell) and they made some fantastic plays. Every play counts. You don't have time to let the ball land between you. You just have to execute."
In the third set, the Trojans were clinging to a 16-14 lead following a kill by Fleming.
Forest Park then finished with a 9-3 run, forcing a fourth set.
The first two sets were decided on hitting errors by Forest Park with a similar miscue by Rogers City concluding the third.
"We had a few unforced errors, which will cost you against a team like this," Bjork said.
Forest Park trailed 17-9 in the opener following a kill by Rogers City senior outside hitter Hannah Dittmar.
The Trojans soon began to trim their deficit, eventually tying the score at 21 and 23.
Rogers City then grabbed the lead for good on a kill by junior outside hitter Kayla Rabeau.
Honkala and senior left-side hitter Hannah Logan collected nine kills each. Senior middle hitter Jenna Grabowski added eight kills and two blocks and McDowell recorded 25 assists.
What will Bjork remember the most about coaching the Trojans' volleyball teams?
"The biggest thing I'll remember is the effort and dedication the girls put into the program," she said. "I just want them to carry that forward. They've done a great job."
Rabeau was a thorn in Forest Park's side all night, providing the Hurons with 22 kills and 18 digs. Taylor Fleming added 14 kills and two blocks. Junior setter Hannah Fleming collected 16 assists and Dittmar had seven kills and 19 digs.
"Kayla was on fire," Quaine said. "She played phenomenal tonight. Much of the match was point for point, which makes for a little different mentality. What I love about these girls is they don't quit."
Emily Faccin - 3 aces, 4 digs
Nola McDowell - 3 aces, 2 kills, 25 assists, 6 digs
Abby Nylund - 3 aces, 5 kills, 1 assist, 4 digs, 1 solo block
Jenna Grabowski - 8 kills, 2 solo blocks
Hannah Cross - 1 ace, 5 kills, 1 assist, 4 digs, 4 solo blocks
Taylor Honkala - 3 aces, 9 kills, 3 digs
Hanna Logan - 1 ace, 9 kills, 1 assist, 7 digs
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