Niles finds offensive rhythm in two-game victory over Buchanan
Published 1:40 am Tuesday, January 6, 2004
By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The return of a senior middle hitter and solid passing helped the Niles varsity volleyball team dismiss Buchanan, 15-10 and 15-6, in a non-conference dual match Monday night.
It was a bad time for Buchanan (3-8-3) to face a Niles team which may be finding some chemistry.
The Bucks have been off since Dec. 20. Niles, on the other hand, played a tournament this past weekend and improved to 7-9-7 with Monday's victory.
The Vikings also benefited from the return of senior middle hitter Rachael Every. Every missed the first part of the season due to surgery to remove her spleen. She returned to the lineup at the Byron Center Invitational on Saturday and made a quick impact Monday night.
Every had six of her seven kills in the first game, including three in a row to close the Buchanan to one point at 8-7. Every also had five digs and one block on the night.
The real offensive rhythm for Niles came from sophomore outside hitter Sarah Dreher and junior middle hitter Melissa Olsen. Dreher finished with 10 kills and Olsen added eight kills and four blocks.
Six of Dreher's kills came in the first game and Olsen delivered five of her eight kills in the second game.
The rust was apparent on Buchanan's side of the net as several times the ball dropped with two or three players looking to someone else to take charge.
The Bucks also had a slow night offensively with Ashlee Layher and Stacy Borr each hitting a team-high four kills. Ali Bender finished with 15 assists and two blocks.
Sandy Molnar finished with 22 assists for Niles. The senior setter also had three digs. Ashley Pingel and Kaylee Bonner each had two aces and four digs.
Niles hosts perennial powerhouse Lakeshore Wednesday night in a Big 16 West Division match.