Brandywine shows intensity in comeback win

Published 9:04 am Thursday, January 25, 2007

By Staff
NILES – Eager to push the memory of a "fall-from-ahead" loss last week, the Brandywine Bobcats started the first game against Berrien Springs strong. But, it seemed like the Bobcats would once again lose their focus when the Shamrocks overcame the 5-0 lead and tied the game at nine points. The Bobcats fell behind and, while fighting throughout, dropped the first game, 21-25.
"Our fans may have been worried, but I saw a different team out there tonight, they started slow, but they didn't give up," Coach Martin Klubeck said.
The second game started strongly in the Shamrock's favor, but the Cats slowly worked their way back into the match through steady and aggressive play. A highlight was the jump serving of Missy Cooper. "She was lighting it up. She not only scored some easy points, but it helped to pump the team up." Klubeck said. The Cats won the second game 25-22.
Brandywine's Alexa Perry made some great digs to keep the team's intensity up in the third game, turning back would-be-kills.
Brandywine started the third game strong, but the Shamrocks wouldn't go away. The scores bounced back and forth, finally ending in the Cat's favor, 25-23.
"It was a close, intense game for both teams. I don't see how Berrien has such a poor conference record – I liked the way they played," Klubeck said after the match.
In the fourth game, the Cats seemed to find their pace, racking up points on tough serving by Perry and Cooper.
"Coming off a hard loss to the Eddies last week, the team focused on maintaining their intensity through a match," Klubeck said.
Julie Barnett, the Bobcats' backrow specialist, pumped up the team's spirit, making key digs and keeping the team moving and smiling. Between her spirit, Kendra Zache's powerful attacks, Katie Smallwood's excellent net play, and Brooke Allen's steadying influence, the Cats finished off the Berrien Springs Shamrocks, 25-19.
Leading the team with kills, Kendra Zache, Brandywine's left-side hitter, brought the crowd to its feet with one hard spike after another. On one special play, her would-be-kill was dug back up right at her, and she roofed it back down for the point. The bang-bang play fired her team and the crowd up.
"It's plays like that, plays where we hustle, fight, dig and claw until we score that inspires a team to victory," Klubeck explained. "It was a full team effort tonight."
The Lady Cats will be back on the court Saturday when they head to Buchanan for the Buck Classic, which begins at 9 a.m.
BRANDYWINE d. Berrien Springs 21-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-19
Brandywine Stat leaders
Kendra Zache 13, Melissa Cooper 10, Katie Smallwood 7, Jenna Harris 6, Brooke Allen 5, and Mallory Barber 3.
Katie Smallwood 5, Mallory Barber 2, Melissa Cooper 2.
Emily Low 29, Melissa Cooper 11.
Alexa Perry 18, Melissa Cooper 12, Brooke Allen 12, Julie Barnett 10, Emily Low 7, and Kendra Zache 5.
Alexa Perry 4, Emily Low 2.