Brooke Smith, who returned to the line-up recently, had 14 kills and four blocks as Brandywine defeated Dowagiac Tuesday night. (Leader photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)
Brooke Smith, who returned to the line-up recently, had 14 kills and four blocks as Brandywine defeated Dowagiac Tuesday night. (Leader photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

Archived Story

Brandywine rallies to knock off Chieftains

Published 9:45pm Tuesday, October 22, 2013

After a slow start, visiting Brandywine was able to outlast Dowagiac 3-1 in a non-league volleyball match Tuesday.

The Bobcats, after losing the first set 25-23, went on to defeat the Chieftains 25-22, 25-21 and 25-13.

“With Olivia DePriest missing we had a few holes to fill there,” Brandywine coach Carl Gruelich said. “It takes a little bit to get used to how the other girls move. Once they got the feel of it, they did a nice job.”

While DePriest was out of the line-up, the Bobcats played their second match with Brooke Smith, who missed part of the season following knee surgery.

Smith made her presence known with 14 kills and four blocks.

“She’s such a leader,” Gruelich said of Smith. “She does such a good job of directing out there. You can see why she’s a captain.”

The win by the Bobcats was not easy. Dowagiac and Brandywine seemed to be evenly matched and the sets reflected that.

In the first three sets, neither team was able maintain a lead.

In the opener, Brandywine trailed the Chieftains 21-15 before rallying to tie the set at 23-23.

Back-to-back kills by Annie Ennesser and Amanda Badner gave the Chieftains the 25-23 victory.

In the second set, after the Bobcats grabbed a 3-0 lead behind the serving of Michaela Hartline, the remainder of the set was a battle of runs.

Brandywine had the final run and came away with a 25-22 victory.

The third set was more of the same with both teams going back and forth. Eventually, mistakes by the Chieftains and solid front row play Sydney Carlson, Smith and Hartline allowed the Bobcats to come away with the 25-21 win.

It was all Brandywine in the fourth and final set. The Bobcats jumped out to a 21-12 lead and went on to the easy victory.

Dowagiac coach Sara Lawrence had no answers for why the Chieftains were inconsistent.

“We couldn’t find our groove. We had it the first set, but that happens to us a lot,” Lawrence said. “We get a good groove the first set and then we switch sides and it’s gone.”

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