Both Italy Junior High teams defrost the Polar Bears with volleyballs and spirit

Image: Paige Cunningham(1) serves for Italy’s Junior High B-team against Frost.

Paige Cunningham(1) serves for Italy’s Junior High B-team against Frost. (Barry Byers)

Italy — Italy’s junior high volleyball teams defended home court inside Italy Coliseum on Monday after a cold front blew in Frost Polar Bears, who were hungry for wins. Both Italy teams managed 3rd set, come from behind, victories to defeat Frost in both matches.

B-team action:
After Frost won the 1st set, Italy’s B-team Lady Gladiators bumped out to a 4-1 lead early in the 2nd set. Italy continued to lead 21-14 when contributions from Paige Cunningham, Tatum Adams, Karley Nelson, Madison Galvan, Taylor Boyd and Reagan Jones helped wrap up the win 25-23 and tie the match 1 set apiece.

The 3rd set was brutal with both sides not giving in. Italy trailed 15-12 before tying the match, 15-15. Frost tried to pull away again, 17-15, but Italy tied the score once more 17 all. Italy finally took the lead at 20-19 only to fall behind, 21-20. Folks, this match went 21-21, 22-21 Italy, 23-21 Italy, and then tied 23-23 and 24-24 with plays from Galvan, Adams and Cunningham helping to keep Italy in the game.

Boyd’s presence forced Frost to serve into the net to give Italy a 25-24 advantage. Needing to win by 2-points by rule, Gage delivered one of the biggest serves of her young career to secure the 3rd and final set, 26-24. Italy’s B-team who swarmed Gage in celebration before congratulating Frost on a hard fought game at center net.

A-team action:
After splitting the first two sets during the “A” game, both Italy and Frost were determined to win the 3rd set. After trailing 18-9 in the final set, Brycelen Richards served Italy back into the game with Richards helping Italy to score several points consecutively. Jenna Holden then stepped back to finish off Frost from the serving line while Italy’s Emmy Cunningham, Grace Haight, Kirby Nelson and Annie Perry took control at the net.

Marlen Hernandez, Rachel Huskins and Sydney Weeks provided valuable minutes as well while Cunningham, Haight and the combined power of Italy’s front line proved to be the difference. Frost was forced to deal with the cold, hard truth that they had blown their chance for a match win over Italy.

Go Italy!