Dowagiac spikers top Rams, fall to St. Joseph Lady BearsPublished 8:22am Thursday, August 27, 2009
By DON EDEN
Dowagiac Daily News
The unbeaten junior laden St. Joseph (6-0) volleyball squad out spiked Wolverine Conference competitors Dowagiac (25-18, 25-20) and South Haven (25-18, 25-16) Wednesday evening.
After a 4-1 deficit in the opener, Dowagiac (5-2) coach Ryan Frontczak called an early timeout, which settled his team to nearly trade points the rest of the game.
“This is the youngest team I ever had and the competition is unreal as varsity is a big step for this team,” noted Frontczak. “St. Joe is a dominant team and the coach does a great job.”
St. Joseph coach Robert Elliott agreed as it is “exciting to be a St. Joe Bear as we have a solid team of 13 starters (9 juniors) with goals of championships at district and regional with a possibility at state.”
Improvement seemed quick for the hosts as they led four different times in the nightcap after not leading at all in the first game with 12-10 being the biggest and 20-19 the latest.
“That last game makes me happy that we are capable to be good and how we competed against St. Joe which shows we can compete against anybody,” said Frontczak.
Sophomore Paige Colvin served the last six points for the victors and she also was a force around the net.
“Colvin is a tough kid that practices hard on everything,” explained Elliott. “The whole team though works very hard and they keep listening to get better as they have a ton of athleticism Dowagiac did a real nice job that last game of hustling hard which gave them a chance to win.”
Dowagiac revenged an earlier defeat last week to South Haven (3-2) with close contests of 25-23 and 25-21 after beginning each game with a 5-1 lead.
The opener saw South Haven tie the score at seven points apiece with Dowagiac taking what seemed a comfortable 13-9 advantage, which stayed throughout to 24-19 until four straight points gave the gallant Rams a chance until the final tally was served into the net.
South Haven was playing without senior setter Christina Pigozzi, who has started for three years as she broke her ankle playing softball and will be out for 6-8 weeks.
“We are a very young team and are training an outside hitter to be our setter, but we are showing little glimpses as the team works hard and the chemistry is good,” stated South Haven coach Katie Bates. “Hopefully, we can improve to be in the middle of the conference as Dowagiac is very much like us and it’s fun to play them.”
Similarities are also in experience as each team has only three players with varsity competition before this year.
The visitors held a 17-16 lead in the nightcap, but Dowagiac prevailed by scoring nine of the last 13 points
“We are becoming a program as 68 girls tried out for volleyball and the junior varsity team also played well,” proudly concluded Frontczak.
A dozen kills were achieved by senior Alyssa Greenwood with junior Kaisha Martin having half a dozen for Dowagiac as sophomore Chantel Baker killed four spikes.
Senior setter Danielle Taylor notched 25 assists with junior Kiele Belew serving a trio of aces to two for Martin.
The Dowagiac junior varsity volleyball team defeated South Haven 25-14 and 25-12, but lost to St. Joseph 25-19 and 25-21 Wednesday night.
Kelsie Primley and Carly Polomcak both finished with 13 points, while Correshia Rodgers and Jessica Holmes had eight and seven points respectively.
Rylie Cox finished with five points.
Polomcak and Rodgers both had three kills. Abbigail Gnatz and Polomcak finished with two digs apiece. Shelby Bruens and Nikki Witwer had four and three assists respectively.
“Our team really stepped it up this game,” Dowagiac coach Denise Hutson said. “We really played well together and made many outstanding plays.”
Gnatz had 10 points to lead all scorers against St. Joseph.
Holmes finished with seven points, with Bruens, Primley and Cox all added six points. Polomcak had five points.
Polomcak had six kills and Rodgers four. Gnatz had four digs and Witwer finished with six assists.