Pirates blast Blackhawks and Rockets to get back to even
While piling up aces and getting consistent outside attacks from Aubrey Syryczuk and Gracie Tallier, the Gilman Pirates got back to even in Eastern Cloverbelt Conference play Tuesday with a 3-1 win over visiting Owen-Withee.
The victory followed a 3-0 sweep at Spencer Thursday and put Gilman at 2-2 for the season.
Gilman racked up 20 service aces in Tuesday’s win, including six from Kya Dietzler. Tychelle Duellman, Tallier, Syryczuk and Emma Grunseth had three aces each and Ellie Drier added two.
From a kill standpoint, Syryczuk had 14 and Tallier had 12 with both doing most of their damage from the left side.
“For these last two matches our rotations had to move around a bit, but the girls have adapted well,” Gilman head coach Janice Komanec said. “We accumulated quite a few aces between the two matches however we also had too many missed serves. This is definitely an area we need to focus on and improve upon.”
The Pirates nearly swept Tuesday’s match. The first set was tied at 14-14 when Syryczuk connected with a spike and a push and Dietzler went on a serving tear to give Gilman a 20-14 lead. Syryczuk added a block before Grunseth served an ace and Syryczuk served two more to cap a 25-17 win.
Gilman jumped ahead 8-0 behind a serving spree from Duellman in game two, but Owen-Withee answered with a 9-1 run to tie it. Grunseth’s perfect dump to the open middle of the Blackhawks’ defense broke the tie, then Dietzler racked up three more aces in a run that put Gilman ahead 15-9. The Pirates surged ahead 20-10 with Grunseth serving. That run included a back-row kill from Tallier. Drier’s ace closed out the 25-13 win.
Tatum Weir’s tap at the net and Syryczuk’s kill gave the Pirates a 20-16 lead in game three, but Owen-Withee kept scrapping and avoided the sweep with a 9-2 run and a 25-22 win.
Syryczuk got on a roll at the net early in game four with four winners, including a big kill off a Duellman assist. That run put Gilman up 11-6. Behind a serving run by Drier, the lead got to 22-11 when Tallier perfectly hit the line with an attack. The Blackhawks made a little run but couldn’t quite catch up in a 25-20 final.
Grunseth had five kills for Gilman and Hannah Vick added five timely kills from the right side. Weir and Dietzler had three apiece.
“We were glad to earn the win against Spencer, but our pace was still slower than we would like,” Komanec said. “We were given quite a few free balls and I don’t believe that we executed them with as much strength and speed as we are capable of. Against Owen Withee, we saw improvement in this area. We were much stronger and more aggressive at the net offensively.”
Weir had two block kills Tuesday, while Syryczuk and Tallier had 14 digs apiece, Drier had nine, Grunseth had eight and Duellman had six.
“Defensively we need to continue to work on the speed and strength of our blocking,” Komanec said. “We definitely have the height to be a defensive presence at the net, but we need to continue to build consistency and strength in this area.”
Gilman is at Neillsville tonight, Thursday, for what should be a tough conference match. Tuesday’s dual at Loyal has been taken off the schedule. The Pirates are scheduled to host Greenwood Oct. 8 and have added a non-conference match at Athens Oct. 12.
Gilman 3, Spencer 0
On Thursday, the Pirates controlled games one and two and then used a late run to break away in game three and complete a sweep of host Spencer in Eastern Cloverbelt play.
Spencer scored the first point of game one and that represented the Rockets’ only lead. A couple of Dietzler aces got Gilman off and running in a 4-0 run. Spencer got within 9-6, but a missed serve gave the ball and momentum back to the Pirates and they gladly took it, getting a kill off a double block from Grunseth and Dietzler, a tough serve from Tallier, a Grunseth tip and a Tallier kill in a 10-2 surge that made it 18-8. Syryczuk recorded a big kill, a block and an ace to help the Pirates close out game one 25-12.
Gilman had an early hiccup in game two, falling behind 4-1 but, again, with Dietzler serving, the Pirates quickly got out of it. Dietzler and Weir hit winners and Syryczuk hit the sideline with an ace as Gilman opened up an 11-7 lead. The Pirates turned a series of Rockets’ mistakes into a 21-10 advantage before Syryczuk got two kills down the stretch to close out a 25-14 win.
The Pirates jumped ahead in game three 6-1 behind tough serves from Tallier and Dietzler and a couple of Syryczuk kills. Spencer fought back and took a 13-11 lead, Gilman fought back behind two Drier aces and a Tallier kill to lead 16-14 and the Rockets answered with three points to go up 17-16.
After a Rocket error tied it, Gilman’s serving took over. Dietzler got aces on three of four points to put the Pirates up 21-17. Syryczuk and Weir got kills to finish things off at 25-18.
Dietzler had six aces, while Syryczuk, Drier and Tallier had two each. Tallier had eight digs, Syryczuk had four and Dietzler and Duellman added three each. Grunseth had 14 assists, while Syryczuk led the team with seven kills. Weir had four and Tallier and Vick added three apiece.