Rangers rally to stun Jeeps

Photos by Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Junior Gabey Gray (12) claps as Forest Park rallied from an 0-2 deficit at Northeast Dubois for a 3-2 win.


DUBOIS — The ending of Tuesday night’s volleyball match between Forest Park and Northeast Dubois differed greatly from its beginning.

The Rangers (5-5) lost the first two sets to the Jeeps (4-8), 25-20 and 25-12 Forest Park held a 16-9 lead in the third set, but Northeast Dubois tied it and eventually grabbed a 21-20 lead. Such a turn of events could’ve been a backbreaker for other teams — but not for the Rangers, not on this night.

Forest Park rallied for five straight points to take the third set, 25-21, and ran away with the fourth set, 25-10. It would all be decided by a decisive fifth set, and it seemed fitting that the fifth set would go down to the wire — as it was tied multiple times and as late as 12-12.

But when Northeast Dubois couldn’t get a serve over the net, it sparked Forest Park taking each of the final three points for a 15-12 win in the final set, and a 3-2 win in the match.

“I’m very proud — very proud of those girls,” Rangers coach Tara LaGrange said after the game.

“They showed more heart and more determination than they have all season. We have been asking and asking every practice for them to dig deep in a game. And they proved they could do it tonight.”

“I think it comes down to the mental standpoint when you’re up 2-0, and you come into the third match thinking, ‘Oh, we got this,’ ” Jeeps coach Leigh-Ann Brosmer said. “We just have to find a way where we can keep our mental state of mind up to thinking, ‘Okay, it’s not over yet. We still have to put this game away.’ ”

Brosmer thought the Jeeps stopped having fun in the third set, and then they lost it. She told The Herald that there are different ways they have fun, and in the eyes of the coaches, they didn’t feel like their players were having as much as they had in the first two sets.

“It’s that mental state of mind that they get in,” she said. “If they make mistakes and they get down on themselves, then it’s hard for them to pull out of that.”

Fans of both teams were rowdy and hooting and hollering as the night wore on. Brosmer thought her Jeeps fed off of this energy and it kept them going. However, she added that they also made some mistakes, and then they got down. Brosmer noted that it’s hard to come away with a win when a team is down and they’re also tired by the fifth set.

Her players were down after the game, but Brosmer will always be proud of her players — win or lose. She hailed them for how hard they work every day in practice — and working hard is all a coach could ask from them.

Senior Hadley Fuhrman (31) and Northeast Dubois held a 2-0 lead on Forest Park Tuesday, but couldn’t close it out, taking a 3-2 loss.

Northeast Dubois will try to return to the win column Thursday at home against Vincennes Rivet.

“We’ll probably work on a lot of passing tomorrow, and we will work on more blocking because I noticed we didn’t have our hands turned the right way on some of the outside blocking,” Brosmer said.

Meanwhile, Forest Park will try to climb above .500 on Thursday at home against Loogootee. LaGrange called herself a believer in momentum, and she’s hoping Tuesday’s big rally will propel a turnaround on the season.

“That was one of the things that we pointed out to them, saying we were super-proud of the way they played those last three sets, but told them we need to play like that before (laughs) and not wait so long to play like that,” she said.

She said Wednesday’s practice will emphasize the serve-receive, and added the team is trying to build up their defense that will continue to work on ahead of the team’s match with the Lions.

“I say it over and over, but I do think it is the girls’ heart and it’s their determination to win the next game,” LaGrange said.

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