Bobcats win Lakeland openerPublished 10:50pm Thursday, September 6, 2012
With only four teams in the Lakeland Conference this season, teams cannot afford a misstep in league play.
The Brandywine volleyball team took a giant step toward its goal of winning a conference title by holding off visiting Bridgman 3-1 Thursday.
The Bobcats defeated the Bees 25-16, 20-25, 25-13 and 27-25.
Brandywine and Bridgman slugged it out for much of the first set before Mikayla Kemp and Mackenzie Shelton, who returned to the line-up after missing part of the season following surgery, took over.
With the set tied at 10-10, Kemp picked up a couple of service winners to make it 12-10. A Shelton kill followed by a Alissa Gamble kill extended the lead to 14-11.
Shelton took her turn at the service line, collecting four consecutive winners, including an ace, as Brandywine took a 21-14 lead.
A Jessy Cooper kill and a Victoria Knight block during that run helped he Bobcats grab control and eventually the victory in the opening set.
It was all Bridgman in the second set as a line-up change by Brandywine coach Carl Greulich just didn’t click.
The Bees won 25-20 to square the match at 1-1.
Kemp and Cooper stole the show in the third set.
Kemp served up 12 service winners, including three aces. Cooper collected six of her team-high 21 kills and added a pair of service aces as the Bobcats defeated the Bees 25-13.
Brandywine got off to a fast start in the fourth and final set, grabbing a 10-4 lead before Bridgman came back and tied things up at 16-16. The set would be tied five more times, the final being at 25-25.
A Bridgman hitting error broke the deadlock and when it was unable to get the next ball over the net the Bobcats had a 27-25 set victory and a 3-1 match win.
Besides Cooper’s 21 kills, Shelton and Knight each had seven kills.
Shelton also had a team-high 14 digs, while Abby Cole and Ashley DeJonge both finished with 11. DeJonge also had 28 setting assists.
“This was a big win,” Greulich said. “They (Bridgman) came to play. You have to admire how hard they fought back and how hard we fought back.”
Greulich was also pleased with the effort of Kemp.
“She stepped up,” he said. “But you know what, she’s been very consistent serving this year. She and Jessy are probably our best two servers. If I tell where the put the ball she’s put it there all day long.”
Brandywine d. Bridgman 3-1
Jessy Cooper 21
Victoria Knight 7
Mackenzie Shelton 7
Abby Cole 11
Ashley DeJonge 11
Mikayla Kemp 4