Mattawan sweeps VikesPublished 9:45am Thursday, September 17, 2009
By STEVE MORRISON
Niles Daily Star
The Mattawan girls’ volleyball team came into Niles High School Wednesday with an unblemished record.
They departed the same way after defeating the host Lady Vikings 25-10, 25-17 and 25-10.
Having a superior height advantage over the Lady Vikings, the Wildcats repeatedly were on an offensive charge as they dominated front court play.
In the first of three sets, the Vikings took a 1-0 lead on a fine stuff by Ashley Love of Amanda Mohoney’s attempted kill.With Caitlyn McCaffery serving, the Wildcats ran off five unanswered points.
Senior Molly Pelak’s ace and two kills highlighted the ‘Cats dash to a 21-8 lead. An adept tip by Sarah Ferguson and a kill by Rebecca Lewis were the only memorable offensive thrusts that the Vikings could muster to bring the Viking score into double digits.
Half of the 10 Viking game points were service errors or net violations against Mattawan.
A staunch blocked shot by Lewis started the Vikings off 1-0 to begin the second contest. Love’s unreturnable shot helped give the Vikings a 4-1 early lead. Despite three great defense digs by the Vikings’ Lewis to turn away the barrage of leaping slams by Mattawan, the visitors evened the score at 4-4.
With the score 6-6, Molly Pelak’s serves, including two aces, spurred the Wildcat’s to a 12-7 advantage. The Vikings climbed back. Ashey Allison’s ace helped the hosts to within two, at 12-10. With the aid of another block and a leaping tip by Lewis, Niles kept close on the heels of the ‘Cats, narrowing the visitor’s lead to one at 15-14.
Then Mattawan took off on run, led by Kayla Nesbitt’s four slams, to take command at 21-15. Nesbitt had seven kills in the three sets. The Wildcats outscored the Vikings 10-2 to finish off the set. A swift tip by towering Allie Hayers ended it at 25-17.
From the beginning of the third set, Mattawan held control of the score. A solid block by Niles’ Charissa Spear, three stuffs by Rachael Zeider and a well-timed leaper by Allison were the few Viking highlights of the 25-10 Mattawan clincher.
Mattawan proved its dominance, running its totals to a 15-4-1 record in matches played during this season.
Niles’ record is now 3-2 for the year.
“The thing is that Mattawan is a top 10 team. That’s who they are. They’re fast. They’re tall. They are tough. I did not see my team step back in fear, but I didn’t see them step up to the plate,” Niles coach Linda Martin assessed. “We got buried; our middle snapped us. We got killed in the middle. We’ve got to get some strength in the middle. We definitely have some work to do.”
The junior varsity Viking squad had a more successful preliminary match. The Niles junior varsity won their opener 25-17, lost the second set 25-14, but came back with a 15-11 victory in the rubber game.
Coach Alyse Hoyt’s team was led by Stephanie Vernier’s 15 assists and two aces apiece by Cortney Shirrell, Paxton Schaller and Michelle Briand. Shirrell, Morgan Stephenson and Sarah Smith had four kills each.
Charissa Spear 1, Ashley Allison 1
Ashley Allison 3
Rebecca Lewis 15, Ashley Allison 7
Rebecca Lewis 3
Rachel Zeider 2, Devyn Roberts 2, Rebecca Lewis 2, Ashley Love 2
EDWARDSBURG – The host Lady Eddies improved to 2-0 in the Lakeland Conference Wednesday night with a sweep of Brandywine in varsity volleyball.
Edwardsburg (8-6-1) defeated the Lady Bobcats 25-18, 25-16 and 25-23.
Elise Mackling led the Lady Eddies with 14 kills, 10 digs, three blocks and an ace.
Edwardsburg also got six kills, nine digs and a block from Emily Kozinski and five kills, six digs, seven assists and two blocks from Emily Getz.
Jenn Mackling had 10 assists, five digs and four aces, while Erin Burks finished with four kills, five digs and an ace.
Maddie Mueller added 18 digs, two aces and a kill.
Kelsey Prestly led the Lady Bobcats with eight kills. Morgan Smallwood finished with five kills.
Jessy Cooper and Kaley Jones combined for 19 assists.
“We battled hard through every game, but unfortuantly got caught on our own mistakes,” Brandywine coach Nikki Cooper said. “Our defense wasn’t as strong as I had hoped for, which caused a lot of confusion on the court. We dug ourselves some big holes by letting Edwardsburg go for a couple runs. We need to learn consistency and how to play well through an entire game.”
Edwardsburg also won the junior varsity match 25-22 and 25-4.
BUCHANAN – The Lady Bucks needed four sets to defeat Bridgman Wednesday night.
Buchanan won 25-20, 25-16, 19-25 and 26-24.
“Games one and two we came out very strong,” Buchanan coach Lisa Holak said. “We were aggressive on defense and just playing some good volleyball. Games three and four Bridgman really picked up the blocking and we had to make some adjustments. I’m pleased with our overall effort tonight… we still have a lot to work on but that’s part of the journey and I am looking forward it.”
Alexis Lenox finished the match with 50 assists, four kills, five digs and three aces.
Audrey Oake had 19 kills and six digs, while Rachel Briggs had 12 kills and three blocks. Rachel Downs added 20 digs and two aces to the Lady Bucks’ totals.