Perfect timing for DowagiacPublished 9:38pm Tuesday, October 30, 2012
BUCHANAN — The Dowagiac volleyball team picked a perfect time to get its first victory in two years.
But it didn’t come easy.
After beating Benton Harbor in the first two sets in the Class B Districts at Buchanan, the Chieftains suddenly reverted back to playing the way it had much of the last two years.
The Tigers grabbed the next two sets and forced a five and deciding one for the right to advance to Thursday’s semifinals against Coloma.
Dowagiac regrouped and was able to rally from a 4-0 deficit to win 15-10 and take the match 3-2.
The Chieftains won the first two sets 25-14 and 25-12 before falling to the Tigers 27-25 and 25-18 in sets three and four.
“We celebrated way too soon,” Dowagiac coach Sara Lawrence said about her team’s play in the third and fourth sets. “Then they started getting lazy, made some mistakes and then they started getting mad at each other, the same things we have been doing all season long.
“In the fifth game, I think the girls realized that was going to be it. They decided to step it up some and kept battling. I think they just kept battling and they wanted it.”
Dowagiac was playing some of its best, if not its best, volleyball of the season in the opening two sets. The passes were crisp, the sets were on the money and Brittany Williams, Hazel Kennedy, Casey Weldy and Madison Proshwitz took advantage of them as they combined for 27 kills.
The third set was a back-and-forth battle between the Chieftains and the Tigers with neither one being able to pull away until a late surge by Benton Harbor gave them the win and the momentum going into the fourth set.
The fourth set was ugly for Dowagiac and Benton Harbor, as out of the 43 points, only four were not due to errors.
The Tigers got two kills from Kayla Dumas and opened up a 4-0 lead in the fifth set only to see the Chieftains come roaring back.
Two kills by Proshwitz and one by Kennedy helped Dowagiac tie the set at 7-7. The set would be tied once more at 10-10 on a kill by Williams.
Dowagiac took the lead for good with back-to-back kills by Williams to give the Chieaftains a 12-10 advantage.
Jessica Herthoge’s ace made it 13-10 and after a couple of Dowagiac errors made it a 13-12 score, Benton Harbor had back-to-back errors to give the Chieftains the victory.
Williams led Dowagiac with 12 kills, three digs, a block and an ace. Kennedy had six kills and Herthoge had seven digs and two aces.
Wednesday night, Lakeshore and Berrien Springs will play in the first semifinal at 6:30 p.m., while the Chieftains and Comets will play Thursday night at 6:30.
Class C District Volleyball
Dowagiac d. Benton Harbor 3-2
Brittany Williams 12
Hazel Kennedy 6
Casey Weldy 5
Madison Proshwitz 4
Jessica Herthoge 7
Hollie Olson 1
Courtney Hunsberger 1