Lady Vikings knock off Brandywine spikersPublished 9:23am Tuesday, September 22, 2009
By SCOTT NOVAK
Niles Daily Star
Niles volleyball coach Linda Martin called Monday night’s three set win over cross-town rival Brandywine “UGLY.”
But don’t expect Martin and the Lady Vikings to give it back.
Throw out a well-played second set by Niles and Martin could not explain why her team was so up and down against the Lady Bobcats in the non-conference match-up.
“I can’t explain it,” she said. “UGLY. It was ugly, but it was a win so I’ll take that.”
In the end, the Lady Vikings headed back across town with a 25-23, 25-9 and 26-24 victory.
The first set went back and fourth with neither team able to build much momentum or any real type of lead.
After the set was tied four times in the first 10 points, Niles freshman Ashley Love served the Lady Vikings to an 8-5 lead.
Niles’ advantage reached 10-6 before the Lady Bobcats came storming back to keep it close.
With the set tied up at 20-20, Kelsey Prestly and Lauren Leonard staked Brandywine to a 23-20 lead.
But a side out gave the Lady Vikings the ball, trailing 23-21.
Brandywine was whistled for court violation, which trimmed the lead down to 23-22.
Rachel Zeider’s ace tied the match up at 23-23 and then Niles finished off the Lady Bobcats with back-to-back kills from Ashley Allison and Sarah Ferguson.
“When you don’t come out with enthusiasm and you don’t work hard, you’re not going to win a game,” first-year Brandywine coach Nikki Cooper said.
It was all Niles in the second set.
The net play of Devyn Roberts and Becca Lewis, combined with the serving of Allison, allowed the Lady Vikings to take an easy win.
Allison served up 15 straight points as Niles scored the final 16 points of the set.
But things turned back around in the third set.
Behind the hitting of Prestly, the Lady Bobcats appeared to be in control and headed to a fourth set.
Four early kills by Prestly (who finished with seven in the set) helped stake Brandywine to a 5-2 lead.
The lead was short lived and Niles was able to tie up the set at 6-6.
Three consecutive service winners by Prestly gave the Lady Bobcats a 9-6 advantage and following a kill from Jessy Cooper and a block, Brandywine led 12-8.
The Lady Bobcats continued to build on their advantage and led 18-12 before Niles began working its way back into the set.
The Lady Vikings were able to final catch Brandywine at 23-23 and the got two consecutive service winners from Allison, including an ace, to take a 24-23 lead.
The set was tied again at 24-24 before a hitting error by Brandywine gave Niles match point.
Taylor Brandstatter’s service winner ended the match.
Roberts led Niles with eight kills, while Allison and Love both finished with six.
There was concern following the match for the Lady Vikings as Love apparently tweaked her shoulder during the second set and was expected to go to the hospital following the match to have it examined.
“We’re a little frightened about that,” Martin said. “She went up for a swing and the injury got worse and worse. We’ll be hopeful that improves.”
Roberts also had four blocks.
Becca Lewis had 20 assists and three blocks for the Lady Vikings, who also got 10 digs from Sarah Ferguson and nine from Allison.
Prestly led the Lady Bobcats with 11 kills. Cooper added five kills and Leonard finished with four.
Kaley Jones had nine assists for Brandywine, which also got 14 assists from Cooper.
Both teams get right back to work on Wednesday as Niles takes on host St. Joseph in a key Big 16 Conference West Division clash and Brandywine makes the short trip over to Berrien Springs for a Lakeland Conference match.