Iroquois dominates Lake Shore 3-1 to stay undefeated, team motivated by Nicki Minaj


It was a big night Wednesday in Lake Shore.

The Eagles hosted the Iroquois as the teams tied for first place in the ECIC III, undefeated in the league. And that had to change for a team.

The Iroquois outscored Lake Shore 18-25, 25-14, 25-22 and 25-19 to the delight of the crowd, which included a flag featuring singer Nicki Minaj. She’s kind of been a lucky charm for the Iroquois this season.

Senior Cayla Partsch managed a team-best 10 eliminations and three blocks. As a team, the Chiefs managed 36 eliminations with four players recording at least five – second Leah Allen (seven), senior McKenna Sinibaldi (six) and Maddie Grieble (five).

“I’m really proud of them today,” Iroquois coach Marissa Parker said as her team improved to 7-0. “I told them coming into the game that it was going to be a very tough game and they really rose to the challenge. We had a lot of leadership from our setter, our intermediaries, communicating and doing a great job there. -low. Overall, I’m really proud. We’ve had a great start to the season and we can’t ask for anything more.”

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The game was eventful and lived up to the bill with two of the division’s top teams looking for a big win.

Iroquois was 5-11 a season ago and Lake Shore was 10-7. A competitive brand of volleyball was played with an official commenting on its intensity at the scorer’s table late in the game.

Both programs have improved a lot, and it shows.

Junior captain Mariah Joslyn had a record 18 kills for the Eagles. Junior Liz Jarzynski also had five kills, as they were the only Lake Shore players to have at least five kills.

“It was a good home and away game,” Lake Shore coach Brian Dziewa said. “They made a few points and we didn’t match their points to take the lead. We have an experienced team but yet a young team at the same point. I think it’s also a young team, so it’s a good back and forth, and it’s kind of like a good rivalry.

Besides the Iroquois, Lake Shore’s only other loss came to Eden, the six-time defending Division VI Class C1 champion.

“I think we’re going to learn that everything we’ve done is fixable,” Dziewa said. “There was nothing we hadn’t seen before or couldn’t fix. They [Iroquois] played cleaner and they performed. We were our biggest flaw defensively and we have to clean it up. It’s something we can do and learn from today, fix it and hopefully the next time we play against them it will be a different result.

As for Minaj, the Grammy winner has been a staple of the Iroquois since the tryouts. Against Lake Shore, she was at the top of the stands first, then went to the Iroquois bench at the start of Game 3.

“She was here on our very first try,” Iroquois elder Morgan Kosnik said. “It’s still hanging on the wall in the gymnasium. We always use it for inspiration and motivation. She is always there to protect us and push us to be better.

The two teams will meet once again on October 17 in Iroquois, where “The Barbz”, the name of Minaj’s fan base, will be in full support as the two teams could see each other again in the playoffs.

“She just gives them an extra source of motivation,” said Iroquois coach Marissa Parker. “I can’t complain, it works. It’s a little superstition.

Ava Tallchief of Lake Shore hits the ball against Leah Allen and Madeline Grieble of the Iroquois in a volleyball game at Lake Shore High School on September 28, 2022.

Joseph Cooke/Buffalo News


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