Dowagiac’s Jessica Herthoge passes a ball forward against Buchanan Monday night. The Chieftains were swept by the Bucks 3-0. (The Daily News/Amelio Rodriguez)

Archived Story

Dowagiac victory not in the script

Published 11:40pm Monday, August 29, 2011

BUCHANAN — When Sara Lawrence moved up from the freshmen team to coach the Dowagiac varsity volleyball team the script she had played through her mind several times probably didn’t include coaching her first varsity contest on the road, at Buchanan, against a more experienced group of girls.

Unfortunately for her that is exactly how her script started as the Chieftains traveled to Buchanan to face one of the top teams in the Lakeland conference and the results showed it as Buchanan came out on top in three straight sets, 25-8, 25-7  and 25-11.

Dowagiac couldn’t find an answer for several of Buchanan’s players, especially the height of 6-foot-3 senior Audrey Oak, and 6-2 sophomore Rachel Bonek. Oak, who has verbally committed to Grand Valley State, led the attack registering 30 kills on the night, to go along with her five aces, while Bonek contributed seven kills and three aces.

“No. 13 (Oak) is pretty much their whole team,” said Dowagiac coach Sara Lawrence.

“Audrey is a four-year starter and this is her breakout year,” said Buchanan coach Lisa Holok. “She is solid anywhere on the court.”

Dowagiac struggled early and often as the Chieftains committed six unforced errors and allowed 16 aces against them.

The Chieftains did progress as the match went on as the third and final set was 12-8 before the Bucks pulled away for the win.

Leading the way for the Chieftains was Kristen Turner with 11 assists.

For Buchanan Erin Glavin had 10 digs, Pachia Benson contributed five aces and 53 assists, while Dani Dale had eight kills and Kelsie Patrick had four.

“We have several kids that can put the ball away, so we have been spreading it around a lot,” claimed Holok.

Buchanan improves to 14-3 with the win, while Dowagiac moves to 0-1.

“We’ve come a long way as a program,” said Lawrence. “But there is still a lot of work to do.”

Dowagiac will travel to Three Rivers Wednesday, while the Bucks will host Bridgman.

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