Edwardsburg sweeps Bobcats

Published 3:55 pm Friday, September 9, 2011

Edwardsburg’s Ally McIntee serves the ball to Brandywine during the Eddies’ 3-0 Lakeland Conference opening night victory over the Bobcats. (Edwardsburg Argus photo/KELLYT SWEENEY)

EDWARDSBURG — In its Lakeland Conference opener against defending league champion Brandywine, Edwardsburg’s volleyball team looked in midseason form last Wednesday with its serving.

Behind 24 service aces, the Eddies upended the Bobcats, 25-9, 25-15, 25-16, in a match that lasted only an hour.

The match began with Edwardsburg running off 10 straight points with Ally McIntee recording six service aces.

“We are a strong serving team so we wanted to come out and be aggressive,” said Edwardsburg coach Sarah Benjamin. “I didn’t see that in our last couple of matches so that’s something I wanted our girls to focus on tonight, along with our passing.”

The Eddies’ passing was also strong as the Bobcats finished with only six service aces.

In game two, Edwardsburg raced out to a 17-1 lead with eight aces. Lindsay Nunez had four aces and Alexis Blake added three during that stretch for the Eddies.

Brandywine coach Carl Greulich called three time-outs during the first two games to help regroup his young team. The Bobcats lost five starters from last year’s team, which along with being conference champions, were district and regional champions.

“You hope for better, but we’re young,” said Greulich. “You can see the inexperience with our positioning and passing. We need to hustle more and go after the ball. It’s kind of what I expected, but we’ll get better.”

Greulich saw some improved play from his squad toward the end of game two. Brandywine scored 13 of the final 21 points in game two.

“I did like the run,” Greulich said. “I thought our more experienced players produced that run.”

Benjamin, who saw her team trail only once in the match at 1-0 in game three, called only one time-out during the contest. That stoppage in play came with her team leading 20-10 in game two. A 6-0 Brandywine run forced Benjamin to talk to her team.

“I think our team was losing a little focus,” Benjamin said. “I have a young team and the problem is when we start going down we don’t know how to adjust to get things back going. I just wanted us to take a deep breath, play the next ball and get out of the rotation.”

No Edwardsburg player is playing the same position from last year and McIntee, Bronnie Tafunai and Andrea LaPlace are the lone players with varsity starting experience.

“I’m really putting a lot of pressure on those girls to work with this young group,” Benjamin said.

Tafunai was the top offensive player on the court as she finished with nine kills. McIntee was a force defensively with six digs and LaPlaced finished with three kills, four digs and two service aces.

Victoria Knight led the Bobcats offensively with four kills.


At Edwardsburg

Kills: Bronnie Tafunai (E) 9, Andrea LaPlace (E), 3, Victoria Knight (B) 4, Jessica Cooper (B) 3.

Aces: Lindsay Nunez (E) 7, Ally McIntee (E) 6, Alexis Blake (E) 4, Tafunai (E) 3, Mackenzie Shelton (B) 2, Ashley DeJonge (B) 2.

Assists: Macy Smith (E) 20.

Digs: McIntee (E) 6, LaPlace (E) 4, DeJonge (B) 7, Cooper (B) 3, Shelton (B) 3.

Records: Edwardsburg 4-5 overall (1-0 Lakeland Conference), Brandywine 1-8 overall (0-1 Lakeland Conference).