IRONWOOD — The Gogebic Community College Lady Samson volleyball team continued to improve and rolled over Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College 25-16, 25-9 and 25-14 at the Lindquist Center on Breast Cancer Awareness Night.
“I thought we played very well,” GCC coach Aaron Bender said. “Anytime you get a win is big. We’re getting better — absolutely. We served well and had 18 total aces. We’ve played poorly at some spots in the season, but the last five games our passing has been much better and allowed our offense to run smoothly. In volleyball, passing is the key to success.
“We’re past the learning stage now. They realize it’s much more competitive here than in high school and it took awhile to learn to play together. And we’re finally starting to realize that you can’t look to others to make plays. You have to step up and make your own plays.”
Freshman Brittni Kisul, who had a whale of a game with six kills, five blocks and nine aces, said the Lady Samsons have been getting better from their first game on.
“We’re getting good communication, working well as a team and having fun,” said Kisul, of Lake Linden. “When we have fun, we accomplish more. And I like to see the team accomplish things. The transition was hard at first, but it’s getting easier. I feel right at home here.”
The Lady Samsons have 10 freshmen and one sophomore on the team.
Fond du Lac coach coach, Laura Sylvester, said Gogebic is turning into a strong team.
“GCC served real well and they jumped out early on us with their strong serving,” Sylvester said. “They’re a scrappy team. We’d make a hustle play and they’d come right back at us. It’s a two and one-half hour bus trip (from Cloquet, Minn.) and you have to shake off the bus legs, but we enjoy playing here. It’s a good atmosphere.”
Gogebic used the same pattern of victory in all three sets. They jumped out to an early big lead and then cruised to an easy win.
Behind the fine serving of Korrie Trier and Krista Svoboda, GCC ran out to a 9-2 lead and it increased to 15-5 after a kill by Kylea Hoff and two aces by Kisul.
Hoff served one ace, then another and then a third and Zoey McGeshick slammed a kill as GCC went up 21-7.
The set finished up when Samantha Robl nailed a service ace that nipped the sideline, McGeshick hit another kill and Fond du Lac air-mailed a serve over the back-line on the final point.
With the pink Lady Samsons leading 5-2 in the second set, Gogebic reeled off eight straight points. With Svoboda serving, there were three aces, two violations and three balls hit into the net by Fond du Lac.
At 19-8, Trier served four consecutive points, highlighted by a double block at the net by Kisul and Hoff. GCC went on to win 25-9.
In game 3, the Lady Samsons surged to a 8-1 advantage behind Svoboda’s serving and the Thunder’s mistakes. When Brittany Suomumaki and Hoff teamed up on a block, GCC’s lead increased to 14-4 and Trier’s booming kill shot made it 17-6.
Gogebic kept the pressure on with aces, kills and capitalizing on Fon du Lac’s misplays and won the set and match by 25-14.
Besides Kisul’s big night, a number of other Lady Samsons played well. Svoboda had 16 assists, two aces and one and one-half blocks. Hoff pounded five kills along with three aces and Trier had two kills and two aces. Robl and Jessica Fink each served aces.
Players from both teams wore pink jersey tops to show their support for breast cancer awareness and after the game, the players and fans formed the breast cancer awareness ribbon in the bleachers. Informational pamphlets on ‘Cancer Facts for Women’ were passed out and pink wrist bands were given to fans as they entered GCC.
“October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we always have one home game to raise money and raise awareness,” Bender said. “We try to do our part. We’ve all heard the saying that ‘everyone knows someone who’s been affected by cancer.’”
Gogebic (7-12) will travel to Dakota County Technical College in Egan, Minn ., on Saturday for a noon match. The winner of that game will receive the No. 3 seed in the region tournament, while the team that loses will be the No. 4 seed.