Cass spikers reach quarterfinals

Published 12:10 pm Thursday, January 20, 2005

By By SCOTT NOVAK and ERIKA PICKLES / Vigilant/Argus
The Brandywine varsity volleyball team went undefeated on Saturday to capture the Gobles Invitational.
The Lady Bobcats defeated Watervliet Grace Christian 25-17 and 25-16, defeated Climax-Scotts 25-20 and 25-17, defeated Fennville 25-13 and 25-13, defeated Cassopolis 25-17 and 25-18, defeated Eau Claire 25-21 and 25-16, and defeated Galesburg-Augusta 25-17 and 25-16.
Cassopolis, which finished a season-high second in its pool, defeated Marcellus 25-21 and 25-22, defeated Lawton 25-23 and 25-16, but lost to Galesburg-Augusta 11-25 and 20-25.
Galesburg-Augusta was the top team in its pool.
The Bobcats defeated Cassopolis in the quarterfinals 25-17, 25-18.
In the semifinals they defeated Eau Claire 25-21, 25-16 and in the championship game they beat Galesburg-Augusta 25-17, 25-16 to claim first place.
Brandywine was led by senior Nikki Cooper's 47 kills, 19 digs and six aces.
The Lady Bobcats also got 32 kills from Kendra Zache and 20 kills from Emily Whitney. Whitney also had three blocks and 115 assists. "Emily had her best setting of the season this weekend. Kendra also did really well. She is really starting to put it all together." Whitney added.
Katie Touhy gave the Lady Bobcats 10 blocks and nine aces. Ashley Antus finished with 20 digs, while Zache added 13 digs.
Kelli Zache finished with eight aces.
Brandywine will play at home Wednesday against Edwardsburg.
CASSOPOLIS - Visiting Brandywine was able to stave off upset-minded Cassopolis Wednesday night at Ross Beatty High School in a fifth and deciding game.
After cruising to a 25-15 victory in the opening game of the Lakeland Conference match, a scrappy Rangers volleyball squad took the Lady Bobcats out of their flow. As a result, Brandywine was forced to go the distance, winning 3-2.
Brandywine won the second game, 26-24, but lost back-to-back games to Lady Rangers, 25-17 and 25-20.
In the fifth and deciding game, which is played to 15 points, the Lady Bobcats posted a 15-9 victory.
Brandywine coach Gary Whitney said that he tried to play some kids who normally wouldn't see a lot of court time in the second game which took his squad out of its flow.
Brandywine totally dominated the first game after getting off to a slow start.
But from that point on, Cassopolis really frustrated the Lady Bobcats into numerous mistakes.
In the second game the Lady Rangers jumped out to an 11-3 lead before Brandywine senior Nikki Cooper served up four straight winners to cut the advantage to 11-7.
Ashley Antus then gave the Lady Bobcats the boost they needed as she served nine consecutive points, including an ace which tied the match at 14-14.
Trailing 19-14, Cassopolis rallied back. Jessica Frucci served back-to-back winners to tie the score at 23-23 and then give the Lady Rangers a 24-23.
Brandywine's Emily Whitney stopped the Rangers from taking the second game with a tip kill to tie the score at 24.
Brandywine then scored the final two points of the game to take a 2-0 lead.
The Lady Rangers dominated the Lady Bobcats in the third game much in the same way they were dominated in the opening game of the match.
Amanda Weiss got Cassopolis off to a quick start with four consecutive service winners.
The Lady Rangers built up a 20-11 lead before Brandywine made a brief comeback effort.
But in the end, a combination of Cassopolis consistency and Brandywine mistakes gave the victory to the Lady Rangers.
Brandywine fell behind quickly again in the fourth game.
The Lady Rangers led 7-1 before three consecutive service winners by Cooper.
The match was tied at 13-13 before Antus served up four straight winners to give Brandywine a 17-13 lead.
Weiss rallied the Lady Rangers to a 17-17 tie with three consecutive points, including an ace.
After the match was tied at 18-18, Cassopolis' Sarah McIntyre served up five consecutive winning serves to give the Lady Rangers a 23-18 advantage.
Brandywine cut the lead to 23-20 after a time out, but could not catch Cassopolis.
Much like the match itself, neither team could gain the upper hand in the fifth and final game.
Brandywine led 3-2 on a pair of winning serves from Whitney, however, the Lady Rangers tied the match at 3-3 a moment later.
Three straight service winners by Nikki Martyniuk reclaimed the lead for the Lady Bobcats at 6-3.
Brandywine and Cassopolis traded points the rest of the way with the Lady Bobcats taking the six-point victory.
Martyniuk led the Lady Bobcats with 12 kills, while Cooper added nine kills. Kendra Zache and Whitey each finished with seven kills.
Kelli Zache led Brandywine with 18 digs. Antus and Cooper each had 14 digs, while Whitney and Connie Brant finished with 11 digs apiece.
Kelli Zache and Brook Allen shared the lead in blocks with two.
Whitney finished the night with 33 assists. Kelli Zache added six assists.
The Lady Rangers were led by Jessica Frucci's 21 hits and three kills. Ashley Solloway had 11 hits and four kills, while Becky File finished with 17 hits and two kills. Weiss contributed 14 hits and three kills to the Cassopolis attack.
File led the team with nine blocks. Frucci finished with six blocks and Dee Dee Hawkins five blocks.
Weiss and McIntyre both had three aces for the Lady Rangers.