Bobcats rally to beat Valley

Published 2:39 am Thursday, January 15, 2004

By By NICK KOVACH / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- When all hope seemed lost, one game separated River Valley from another win, and on a night when rankings didn't seem to bother either team, determination and grit played a part in one of the year's finest contests thus far, as Brandywine proved why it's important to play hard until the end.
Wednesday night the Brandywine varsity volleyball team squared off against River Valley, an honorable mention team in the latest Class C poll.
The game went the full five games and was decided in grand fashion.
After being down two games to none, the Bobcats fought their way back by taking the final three games to beat River Valley. The Mustangs won the first to games by scores of 15-11 and 15-7. Brandywine took the final three games by scores of 15-7, 15-8, 15-10.
The contest between each team was reminiscent of a heavyweight boxing title fight. Each team, seemingly up against the ropes, fought back and kept the evening of volleyball very interesting.
After being beaten twice this season at the hands of the Mustangs, the Bobcats of Brandywine figured out how to counter the height and strength of River Valley.
Emily Whitney switched to the outside and Nikki Cooper added fire as Brandywine was able to close down the middle attack of River Valley, which seemingly made the difference.
Cooper led the hitting attack with 26 kills. Whitney added 17 and Katie Tuohy had 12 kills. Tuohy had a team-high five blocks and Whitney had three blocks.
Whitney led the team with 25 digs. Cooper added 18 digs and Kayla Asmus helped out with eight digs. Tuohy and Whitney each had two aces.
Bridget Mitchell had 36 assists and Whitney had 20 assists.
According to Brandywine coach Gary Whitney this was a step in the right direction.
Talk of rankings did not seem to bother Brandywine.
River Valley coach Jim Rogosta tipped his hat to the Bobcats.
Coach Rogosta was very happy with the way his team played overall, and hopes his team can take this as a learning experience for the future.
Janet Markunas led the Mustangs, which are now 17-5 overall and 1-2 in league play, with 15 kills, 19 digs and five aces. Noelle Dryden had 33 assists and 20 digs. Jami Grandholm helped out with six kills and four blocks.
Brandywine, now 6-9-6 overall and 2-1 in Lakeland Conference play, returns to action Saturday at the Gobles Tournament.