GRAYLING– The Gladwin volleyball team took to the court last Thursday for the first time since last November. It was also their first opportunity to play inside on a standard volleyball court since the Governor closed schools last March. Because Gladwin High School is in Region 5 the team has been forced to practice outside on the baseball field. “It was so nice to get back into a gym, said Coach Tony Wetmore. “The girls were excited to be playing on a real court with a real net.”
Gladwin got off to a slow start in the first set. Several unforced errors including multiple net violations put Gladwin in a hole early on their way to a 25-17 loss. To their credit they didn’t quit and kept game two close early giving them time to make adjustments and start playing better. After trailing 17-14 they did just that going on a 11-5 run to close out the set with a 25-22 victory. “Overall I was happy that we didn’t get too down on ourselves after dropping that first set,” added Wetmore. “I thought we were very evenly matched with Grayling.”
Set three looked a lot like the second set. The teams traded points early before Gladwin’s Erin Breault served six straight points giving Gladwin a 12-7 lead. They actually had a 24-23 lead before Grayling scored the final three points for a 26-24 win. Set four followed a similar pattern except that Gladwin came out on top this time 25-23 setting up a fifth set to decide the match.
The Flying G’s jumped out to an early lead and never trailed in the 15-8 win. Chloe Kokotovich served the final three points including two aces to secure the win for Gladwin. Every win is a good win, but considering everything that the girls have gone through to get to this point it had to be satisfying. Volleyball is volleyball, but to step inside against a team that has been able to conduct routine practices from the start was a disadvantage early. By the time that the match got to game four Gladwin was playing pretty well. “I thought we clicked and started understanding how to play with each other,” continued Wetmore.
“Our team chemistry is different this year with such a diverse group of ages on the court,” said Wetmore. The Flying G’s have nine athletes in the rotation at this point with only two of them being seniors, but with three juniors and four sophomores in the playing group the future looks bright. “It’s a big learning curve for the girls, but considering the circumstances I was happy with how the girls persevered.”
Taylor Vasher had nine kills and 27 digs against the Vikings. Renae Parrett had seven kills and 17 digs. Kokotovich had 10 kills, Delaney Reynolds 15 assists and Avery Miller added 11 assists. Gladwin was in Roscommon last night for a tri-match with the Bucks and Alma.