Brandywine advances to district finalsPublished 9:08pm Wednesday, November 6, 2013
BRIDGMAN — Finish is a term that anyone and everyone who has ever played an organized sport knows all about.
The dictionary merely defines it as “to bring (a task, activity, or object) to an end; complete,” but ask any athlete or coach on the planet what their thoughts are on the significance of the word and surely they will tell you that its objectivity is much more encompassing than its definition would suggest.
Enter the Brandywine Bobcats volleyball program.
Up 24-19 in the first game of their district semifinal match against Watervliet, the Bobcats squandered a chance to go up 1-0 by blowing five straight game points, which eventually wound up costing them the set 27-25.
After the deflating, but still early collapse; Brandywine Coach Carl Greulich huddled his team together and laid their potential season-ending situation out for them.
“I told them they had to put it behind them, it really didn’t matter what happened up to that point,” he said. “We came out like a house of fire and then kind of just flamed out. I told them that Watervliet wanted it more than we did and that they needed to prove to me, the crowd and themselves that they wanted it more.”
From that point on, Brandywine clearly played a more superior game than the Panthers en route to a 3-1 (25-27, 25-19, 26-24, 25-12), victory.
Sydney Carlson had 16 kills and 9 -digs and Maranda Smallmon added an absurd 8 aces to fuel the Bobcat turnaround.
“Smallmon’s serves were brilliant tonight, eight-aces?” Greulich said. “That’s unheard of. Her consistent service really relaxed everyone else out on the court and led us to victory. I was really proud of the way we battled hard and overcame our self-made adversity to finish this one out. We have a lot of momentum heading into Saturday and I hope we can do something with it.”
The Bobcats will move on to face the winner of the New Buffalo-Cassopolis match for a district title Saturday night at 6 p.m. in Bridgman.
Class C District
Brandywine d. Watervliet 3-1
Sydney Carlson 16
Olivia DePriest 9
Michaela Hartline 8
McKenna Hartline 6
Abby Cole 1
Emily Erwin 1
Rachelle Dodge 1
Michaela Hartline 13
Justine Sater 5
McKenna Hartline 1
Michaela Hartline 3
McKenna Hartline 2
Maranda Smallmon 8