EAST JORDAN – Although all the scores were close, the Grayling girls volleyball team couldn’t quite put together the string of points it needed in a 3-1 loss to East Jordan in a Lakes 8 Activities Conference loss Wednesday night in Grayling.
The Vikings did get the Red Devils’ attention, though, when after losing the opening set, 22-25, they came back to take the second set, 25-22. Unfortunately, the Vikings failed to gain the momentum and dropped the next two sets, 19-25 and 22-25.
“It was a good effort by the girls,” Vikings coach Tim Zigila said. “They were super fired up. We have not been on the road a whole lot, and this was like our third road game.
“But it was nice to get away from home and have a little team bonding. Even though we ended up on the losing end, it was good. The girls played well, and it was just a fun night of volleyball.”
Even the set Grayling won, it was back-and-forth most of the time with neither side really gaining complete control. The Vikings were fortunate enough to pull away at the end.
Neither team gave an inch all night. It was just the kind of test Zigila liked to see the Vikings get before the district tournament rolls around. Zigila also was impressed with how much the Red Devils have improved.
The two teams jockeyed for the lead all night, with no one able to get more than a three- or four-point lead. It kept the coaches on their toes, coming up with the right strategy.
“You never want to lose, I felt like that was one of our more complete games,” Zigila said. “It was good. After tonight, I feel like we’re in a good spot. We have some tough games coming up.
“We have to work on our mental toughness. We do a lot of other things really, well. We just need to get mentally tough, and weather some of the storms we get into. You have to be able to grind through point swings and momentum. Volleyball is a game of momentum.”
Kenzie Castle finished the match with four service aces, Alison Brown contributed 21 assists, Kynadi Dole pounded down 13 kills and Ellie Wagner hustled for 7 digs.
Grayling hosts Traverse City St. Francis on Tuesday, Kalkaska on Tuesday, Oct. 20 and then go to Clare on Oct. 26.
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