Spikers fall to Bucks 3-1Published 8:45am Tuesday, September 1, 2009
By TOM NYHUIS
Niles Daily Star
BUCHANAN – Home opener jitters and a red-hot Dowagiac team didn’t get in the way of Buchanan’s varsity volleyball team Monday evening.
The Lady Bucks were able to re-group after an opening game loss and come away with a 3-1 non-league win.
After a 25-19 opening loss to the Dowagiac Chieftains, Buchanan came back and finished off the Chieftains 25-19, 25-8, 25-12 with some great hitting and sets and defense by entire team.
The Chieftains (8-4) came ready to play as they claimed the opener. “We were on fire in the first game,” Dowagiac coach Ryan Frontczak stated. “We come out on fire and then we just fizzle. It wasn’t like we weren’t talking, we were talking and we were going after it. Things just weren’t falling our way and then they just went way off the deep end.”
Dowagiac led the entire first game at one point by as many as six points, 18-12, before Buchanan rallied to cut the lead to two points several times the first at 16-18 then 17-19 and 18-20 before falling by six.
Once the Lady Bucks shook off the nerves of playing their first home game of the season it was time to get down to business and get the job done of picking up the non-conference victory.
“We were a little tight in game one,” Buchanan coach Lisa Holok said. “They were a little bit nervous and high energy and we were playing out of position. Once we settled down and got into our normal game things flowed really well.”
Audrey Oake put the Lady Bucks up early with a pair of kills jumping out to a 4-0 advantage. With Buchanan leading 7-2 it was time for Dowagiac to get back into the game as they re-grouped and took back the lead going up 11-8. From there it was a back and forth contest with three ties the last coming at 16 apiece.
The balanced hitting attack of the Lady Bucks Oake, Desiree Scoggin and Rachel Briggs kept the pressure on as they pulled away with the win and tie the match at one.
“All our hitters this year are very diverse and we have a lot of different people we can go to which is really nice,” Holok said. “Briggs is a three year starter and she is very smart now. She knows where to put the ball and can see the court really well now before she hits. Audrey being a sophomore still makes some sophomore errors but she definitely can put the ball down as we saw tonight. And Desiree, as a freshman coming in and playing tonight, if I would have not known she was a freshman she definitely didn’t play like it tonight. She played like an upperclassmen playing with confidence and got the job done.”
Oake led Buchanan with 18 kills with Briggs finished the night with 10, Scoggin tallied nine, as did Kelsie Patrick and Kirsten Smallwood added five. Alexis Lenox finished the night with 50 assists and Rachel Downs came away with 25 digs to lead the Bucks attack.
“I was really happy with the way they kept the ball in play and let our defense do the job and let Dowagiac make unforced errors,” Holok commented.
Once the Lady Bucks confidence returned it was an all out team effort that continued to keep up the intensity and take the final two victories 25-12, 25-8.
“We know we have to get better and there is no question about that,” Frontczak said. “These girls didn’t quit though and that’s the bottom line they did not quit. So I am proud of them in that aspect. Everyone has got to step up myself included. This is a team effort and I take all the losses and they take the wins.”
Alyssa Greenwood led Dowagiac with 14 kills, while Andrea Bradshaw added four.
Taylor Gross had nine digs and Shantell Baker five. Danielle Taylor and Meaghan Hojara had 14 and 12 assists respectively.
Dowagiac will travel to Three Rivers on Wednesday while the Lady Bucks will not be back in action until September 9 when they host Edwardsburg in a Lakeland Conference meeting.