Vikings pull through for win

Published 6:12 am Tuesday, January 9, 2007

By By ERIKA PICKLES and TOM NYHUIS / Niles Daily Star
NILES – Buchanan's varsity volleyball team didn't let the Niles Lady Vikings have an easy night Monday in the Bucks' home gym.
The Vikings had not played since Dec. 28, while Buchanan was coming off a trip from the Bronson Tournament on Saturday.
Despite being off, Niles came away with the 3-0 non-league win over Buchanan, 25-23, 25-17, 30-28.
The Lady Bucks stayed neck-to -neck with Niles in the opening game before falling short.
"Every time we come into Buchanan, I recognize that it's going to be a fight no matter what," Niles coach Linda Goodrich said. "Their coach trains them intensely on defense and their setter (Emily Ross) is just absolutely incredible where she pushes the ball to. We played every available player and used everything that we had. We had a long break and it took a while to get back into our rhythm of play."
In game two, the Lady Bucks struggled as Niles opened up a 13-6 lead.
"If we drop our first game, we come out very low the second game," Buchanan coach Lisa Holok said. "We then dig ourselves in a whole and try to play catch up."
Buchanan would close in on the lead and trail by three, 19-16 but was unable to cut into the lead any further.
"I feel like we are a Jeckel and Hyde team," Holok said following the loss. "We are either there or we are not. There is no in-between for us. No moderate level of play, it's either we are really good or really bad."
It looked as though Buchanan would take an easy game three, opening up a big 12-3 lead over the Lady Vikings. Goodrich didn't't like what she saw and quickly called a time out, when Goodrich made the entire Niles team was do line sprints and dives.
"We have a tendency as a young team to loose focus, so we had them get the blood rushing to their head again, so that is why they had to run and get focused on the game again," Goodrich said.
The team responded and rallied to cut into the Buchanan lead, 12-9. Niles continued to chip away at the lead and tied the game at 16. From that point it was a see-saw fight the rest of the way until the Lady Vikings put the game away, 30-28.
Madalynn Peterek led her Lady Vikings team with 13 assists and Katie Bourbonnais had six blocks in the three games. Karly Kennedy led her team with 10 kills on the night, with Kaylynn Stephenson picking up nine kills.
Buchanan was led by Courtney Miller's 22 digs and 13 kills. Mattie Arndt recorded four blocks and four kills, Emily Ross picked up 26 assists, nine digs and two kills. Jayme O'Bryant had 13 digs. Lindsey Borr had 15 digs as did Holly Lucas along with a pair of aces. Keriann Sears finished the night with five kills and Katie Backus added six digs. Anna Callahan was limited to just two kills.
Buchanan will travel to Edwardsbug on Thursday to take on the Eddies in Lakeland Conference action.
Niles is not back in action until Jan. 17 when they travel to Mattawan.