CRYSTAL FALLS – From losing 20 points in the first set of their first double game of the season to winning a district championship – this is the extraordinary story of the 2021 Forest Park Lady Trojans volleyball team .
And this story is not over yet. However, a major plot point was established after the Lady Trojans toppled five-time defending champion Carney-Nadeau, 3-1 (24-26, 25-22, 25-20, 25-18) in the final from Division 4 of District 99. Thursday at the Eddie Chambers Memorial Gymnasium.
Senior passer Rayven Jacobson said it was his team’s time.
“It really means a lot” said Jacobson, who totaled 16 digs, 15 assists and six assists. “It’s been five years and before that, we were gaining a lot of neighborhoods. And we said it today at the pep’s gathering, this is our year. We are taking it back this year.
Forest Park coach Bobbie Jo Anderson, who won her first District Championship trophy as head coach of the Lady Trojans, also reflected on the past.
“In recent years, we have tended to attract Carney in the first game of the quarters. And we end up playing them as Carney, and of course they have their own fans and they have a lot of energy and enthusiasm. And they have been a very, very good team ”, she said.
“But as the season progressed and we gained momentum and our daughters got better and better, that goal (of winning the district) seemed more attainable for us.”
Carney-Nadeau coach Steve Kedsch said the Lady Trojans won their material.
“My team, I’m very proud of them, they played hard tonight. I thought we played a great game. Give Forest Park all the credit, they played a really good game tonight. Sometimes you do what you want to do on the pitch, but the end result is not what you want.
Wolves drew their first blood after surviving a tight first set. Neither team had a more than three point lead – Forest Park at 7-4 and Carney-Nadeau at 24-21. A few Forest Park mistakes broke the tie for 24 and Wolves jumped ahead.
Senior Malorie Baumler, playing on an injured ankle, kicked off the win with three kills while fellow senior Mackenzie Walcher added two.
The second set was more or less the same – a rocking game in which Forest Park broke a 12-12 tie with an 11-6 run, triggered by an ace from Ashlynn Kannich, a tip from Audrey Franz and a powerful kill from Leah Feldhausen.
A Carney-Nadeau serve error on set point equalized the game before the crucial third set.
Wolves held a 19-15 lead before Feldhausen advanced with three kills, including a sight shot that found a hole in the middle of Carney-Nadeau’s defense on a set point that completed a run of 10-1.
“In that first game Leah struggled a bit and she was making stupid mistakes and we kind of attacked her,” Anderson said. “She tends to do that too, when she settles down and her nerves calm down, that’s when she starts to play really well.” And as soon as we can get her to play well and (Ema) up there with her, then that second forward spin is stronger for us.
Stepien punctuated Forest Park’s offense with eight kills, while Feldhausen added seven. Midfield hitter Gracie Peterson posted six kills.
The Lady Trojans maintained their momentum in the fourth. The teams split the first six points before Forest Park launched into a 9-1 push. Peterson served two aces, Stepien hammered back-to-back kills and Feldhausen added a block during the key stretch.
The Wolves were not, however, out of action. Mary Sivula served two aces and Baumler added a tip to bring Carney-Nadeau down to three at 18-15, but fortune smiled at Forest Park on the next point.
Franz attempted a spade from the left side and the ball hit the net and rolled before falling into an open spot on the Wolves frontline. From there, Forest Park won seven of the next 10 points to seal the victory and take the title away from Carney-Nadeau for the first time in six years.
Kedsch has said that his three oldest children – Sivula, Walcher and Baumler – will be missed.
Anderson offered a taste of the regional, which will start for his team on Tuesday against tonight’s winner between North Dickinson and Superior Central. This regional semi-final will be played in Felch at the Carl F. Lemin Jr. Gymnasium.
“Were excited. We beat both teams and we know that if we have the momentum and the energy and we work hard it’s definitely achievable. Anderson said.
Baumler 14 kills, 9 digs
Walcher 28 digs, 7 kills, 4 aces
Sivula 12 digs, 4 aces, 2 assists, 1 kill
Kedsch 24 assists, 11 digs, 1 ace
DeGrave 6 kills, 2 aces, 1 dig, 1 block
Agreement 23 searches, 1 assist
Laurila 4 kills, 2 digs
FOREST PARK STATISTICS
Jacobson 16 digs, 15 assists, 6 kills, 2 blocks, 1 ace
Larson 15 digs, 9 assists
Peterson 11 dig, 7 kills, 5 aces, 1 block
Kannich 17 dig, 4 aces, 2 kills
Feldhausen 7 kills, 3 blocks, 1 dig
Stepien 8 kills, 5 digs
Franz 11 dig, 2 kills, 1 ace
Divine 7 searches, 2 eliminations
Kudwa 3 assists, 2 kills, 2 digs