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Pirates swept by Loggers, beat Warriors


With their originally-scheduled match at Loyal wiped out, the Gilman Pirates stepped outside of the Eastern Cloverbelt Conference Tuesday for the first time this season and found a tough challenge in Phillips.

Led by Jada Eggebrecht’s 11 kills, the Loggers improved to 9-2 overall during this abbreviated fall season with a 3-0 sweep that dropped Gilman to 3-3. Phillips has a 6-1 record in Marawood Conference matches.

Game scores Tuesday were 25-18, 25-10 and 25-20.

“Phillips is a very consistent team and they are very aggressive,” Gilman head coach Janice Komanec said. “Their aggressiveness created a fast-paced atmosphere that we got caught up in. We need to mentally slow that pace down and take control of our skills. We struggled in set one and set two, but in set three the girls came out and started to execute their skills more consistently which led to a more competitive set.”

Gilman found success when it fed the ball to junior Aubrey Syryczuk, who led all hitters with 14 kills during the match. Emma Grunseth had five kills for Gilman and Tatum Weir added two.

Madisyn James was back in the lineup and put up 10 assists for the hitters, while Grunseth had seven.

On the defensive side of things, Gruns- eth put down four block kills to lead the Pirates. Syryczuk had three and Hannah Vick and Weir each added one. Ellie Drier led the team in digs with 15. Tychelle Duellman, Syryczuk and Gracie Tallier had six each, James had five and Grunseth chipped in with three.

Five-set win

The Pirates won their third straight Eastern Cloverbelt Conference match on Thursday and did it in dramatic fashion, rallying from a 2-1 deficit to beat host Neillsville 3-2.

This was an incredibly close backand- forth match as the teams traded 25-23 wins in the first two sets, with Gilman taking the first one. The Warriors won the third set 25-22, but Gilman stayed alive by taking set four by that same 25-22 score.

The decisive fifth set was tight as well. The Pirates won it 15-13.

“Against Neillsville the girls played well,” Komanec said. “We did well defensively getting hands on balls at the net and also digging well. We were able to execute our offense effectively. We were also able to capitalize on their hitting and serving errors.”

Grunseth’s 23 assists set up most of Gilman’s offensive attacks. Syryczuk led the way with 16 kills. Tallier had seven, Grunseth put down five, Vick had four, Weir added three and Ava Gunderson recorded two kills. Drier hit four service aces in the match, Syryczuk had two and Duellman, Tallier and Weir served one each.

Tallier picked up 26 digs and Duellman was right with her, adding 25. Syryczuk had 22 digs, Drier had 16 and Grunseth added 11.

Weir was a key presence at the net, recording six block kills. Syryczuk, Gunderson and Grunseth had three apiece and Vick added one.

Gilman currently sits at 3-2 in conference play. Neillsville improved to 3-1 Tuesday with a 3-1 win at Spencer.

Home stretch

Gilman enters the home stretch of the shortened regular season this week.

First, the Pirates host Greenwood today, Thursday, in a 7:15 p.m. varsity match. The Indians are 2-2 in league play.

On Tuesday, the Cloverbelt Conference still plans to hold its East/West crossover matches with the East sites serving as hosts this year. The teams won’t have played all of their matches due to COVID postponements and cancellations over the course of the last month, but the conference will use winning percentages to determine placements.

WIAA Division 4 tournament play will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 20. The Pirates have been reassigned to a five-team regional grouping that includes a very good McDonell Central team along with Cornell, Lake Holcombe and New Auburn.