Chiefs serve up loss for Buchanan

By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
BUCHANAN -- After winning the first game of the night, the Buchanan varsity volleyball team suffered a letdown and let the next three slip away in a non-conference loss to Dowagiac.
The two teams played a best-of-five match using rally scoring to a winning score of 21, agreed upon by the coaches before the match.
Buchanan edged the Chieftains 23-21 the first game before Dowagiac won the next three by scores of 21-9, 21-19 and 21-15.
The win lifted the Chieftains to 3-2-3 while Buchanan slipped to 2-2-1 on the year.
Serving was the key for Dowagiac, which served 17 aces compared to just three aces for the Bucks.
Buchanan coach Randy Redding felt Dowagiac' dominant serving was caused by a number of things.
Aside from winning points with serves, the Dowagiac offense used a well-balanced attack to punish the Buchanan defense.
Brianne Reist led the Chieftains with seven kills while Jennifer Pilot had six kills. Michele Pilot and Brittney Reist each had four kills.
The first game was a back-and-forth affair, with Buchanan edging the Chieftains at the end. Dowagiac started the second game on a 9-3 run before Buchanan came back to close the gap to 13-8. The Chieftains then scored the went on an 8-1 run to win the game.
Redding was disappointed in how his team let the momentum of the opening-game victory slip away.
Getting an early lead in the second game only to have it chopped down by the Bucks served as a wake-up call for Dowagiac.
The third game was another close one, with Buchanan leading 8-6 early and then Dowagiac taking a two-point lead before the Bucks tied the game at 19-19. A Buchanan hitting error and an ace by Jennifer Pilot sealed the victory for Dowagiac.
The Chieftains again leaped out to a big lead, 9-2, in the fourth game. The Bucks, however, refused to quit and actually tied the game at 13 before Dowagiac put together an 8-1 run to finish the game and the match.
Ashlee Layher led the Buchanan attack with 14 kills. Holly Tibbs added 11 kills and Ali Bender had 28 assists.
The Dowagiac junior varsity team beat Dowagiac 15-2, 6-15 and 15-9. The Dowagiac freshmen also beat Buchanan, 17-15 and 15-11.
Buchanan returns to action Wednesday at home against Berrien Springs to open the Lakeland Conference season.

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