Eddies fall to Shamrocks

Published 11:28 pm Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bronnie Tufanai of Edwardsburg goes up for a block against Berrien Springs Wednesday night. The Eddies were defeated by the Shamrocks 3-1. (The Daily News/Kelly Sweeney)

EDWARDSBURG — The finish of Wednesday’s Lakeland Conference volleyball match between Edwardsburg and Berrien Springs left the Eddies stunned as the Shamrocks outlasted Edwardsburg, 26-28, 25-22, 25-10, 26-24.

A controversial point ended the match as Bronnie Tafunai’s kill was ruled out of bounds.

“It was ruled outside the antenna,” said Edwardsburg coach Sarah Benjamin, whose team fell to 4-1 in the conference and 14-19 overall. “If you look at the angle of that shot there’s was no absolute way that could have happened. It’s a disappointing way to end a match because we’re finally fighting back and I was really excited about tonight. We did so well and I’m so proud of my girls.”

Berrien Springs coach Jim Bermingham was also asked about the final point.

“I didn’t see anything,” said Bermingham, whose team improved to 4-1 in the league and 23-10 overall. “The official on the end said he saw the ball go on the left side of the antenna.”

Edwardsburg stunned Berrien Springs to start the match as the Eddies erased a 19-9 deficit and won game one, 28-26. The final two points came on kills from Tafunai.

“So good,” Benjamin said about the first game. “What a fight. Something we’ve struggled with is coming back from behind. We had a great crowd, it was senior night and everyone was fired up. I was thinking (at 19-9), ‘Oh no’, but to see that (comeback) meant a lot.”

Berrien Springs never trailed in game two but it was far from an easy win for the visitors. The Shamrocks scored four of the final five points of the game with Desiree Scoggin’s service ace winning the game for Berrien Springs.

“The kids believe in themselves and in the system,” Bermingham said about his team’s ability to regroup after losing game one. “We’re young and it’s a learning process. You don’t win the match by just winning the first game. You win (matches) by winning the last game. I thought today our kids seemed to understand that it’s a marathon and not a sprint.”

In game three, Berrien Springs pulled away after holding an 8-7 lead. The final four Shamrock points came on two kills from Paige Anderson and two service aces from Jillian Wold.

“Game three kind of shocked me after coming off a big win in game one and being so close in game two,” Benjamin said. “But, I’ve got a young team and mistakes are going to happen. Those are things we have to overcome.”

Game four was close throughout with the biggest lead being three points. Alexis Blake’s kill gave the Eddies their last lead at 17-16. The Shamrocks then responded with a 4-0 run before the Eddies rallied to tie the match at 22 on Blake’s service ace.

Tafunai, who’s Edwardsburg’s lone senior, had a great final home match. She led Edwardsburg offensively with 12 kills.

“She did awesome,” Benjamin said. “I’m really proud of her.”

Berrien Springs’ offensive depth was on display throughout the match as four different girls had at least five kills with Holly Toliver leading the way with 11 kills.

“Our philosophy is more of an offensive philosophy,” Bermingham said. “It’s important for us to wear teams down, especially teams like Edwardsburg, that are so good defensively.”

Berrien Springs d.

Edwardsburg 3-1

At Edwardsburg

Kills: Holly Toliver (B) 11, Jennifer Marren (B) 8, Paige Anderson (B) 6, Desiree Scoggin (B) 5, Bronnie Tafunai (E) 12, Andrea LaPlace (E) 8, Alexis Blake (E) 4

Blocks: Toliver (B) 9, Marren (B) 5, Blake (E) 4

Aces: Scoggin (B) 6, Grace Boswell (B) 3, Jillian Wold (B) 2, Blake (E) 4, Lindsay Nunez (E) 2

Assists: Wold (B) 30, Nunez (E) 28

Digs: Scoggin (B) 6, Natalie Hogg (B) 5, Toliver (B) 5, Boswell (B) 4, Ally McIntee (E) 13, LaPlace (E) 5, Tafunai (E) 5

Records: Berrien Springs 23-10 overall (4-1 Lakeland Conference), Edwardsburg 14-19 overall (4-1 Lakeland Conference)