Rangers rally to defeat Bridgman in district opener
Published 5:40 pm Tuesday, November 5, 2013
BRIDGMAN — Cassopolis volleyball coach Ray Prestly feels serving is a team strength. That sure was proven at the end of the Rangers Class C district opening round match on Monday against Bridgman. Cassopolis totaled three service aces in its final six points in game five and outlasted Bridgman, 20-25, 28-26, 23-25, 26-24, 17-15.
“I was more concerned with our serve receive,” said Prestly. “We don’t have that many serving errors, unless we get too much adrenaline going and don’t control the serve. Serving errors we cut down on early in the season. We’ve concentrated more on our serve receive. We still need to do a little bit more work on that.”
Bridgman finished game one on a 9-2 run with three of the Bees final four points coming on kills from Callie Meyer.
Game two ended with Cassopolis getting consecutive kills from Michelle Green. There were 11 ties in the second game.
The Rangers jumped out to a 12-5 lead in game three after getting a service ace from Tyeisha Fuller. But Cassopolis was unable to keep the lead as Bridgman rallied and took the lead for good at 20-19. Jordan Jones’ kill clinched game three for the Bees.
Prestly had a message for his team after game three.
“I told them to play Ranger volleyball and to control the ball and not let the ball control us,” the Cassopolis coach said. “We had to be smart every time we touched the ball, whether it be passing or hitting. We had to find the targets and go for it.”
Game four featured nine ties with Cassopolis rallying after falling behind, 23-21. A Bridgman kill in the net sealed game four for the Rangers.
Cassopolis erased a 12-7 deficit in game five. Rachelle Williams came up with four clutch kills during the Rangers’ comeback, which was capped by Tori Baker’s service ace to clinch the game and match.
“She’s stepped up this year,” Prestly said about Williams. “She’s been our go-to outside hitter. I use her in different spots. I feel my hitters should be able to play all three front row positions.”
Green totaled 11 kills and Williams added 10 to lead Cassopolis offensively.
“Me and Ray (Prestly) talked on Saturday,” said Williams. “I just worked on my attitude. I’m working to stay positive and that’s helped me so much. I was diving all over the place tonight. I feel good about that.”
Cassopolis, which improved to 16-18-6 overall, avenged a five-game loss to Bridgman during the regular season.
“The players dug deep in their bellies and became aggressive,” Prestly said. “We’ve been working with them on that all year. I guess the light bulb finally went off.”
Cassopolis faces New Buffalo in a district semifinal match today at 7 p.m.
Class C District
Cassopolis d. Bridgman 3-2
Michelle Green (C) 11, Rachelle Williams (C) 10, Jami Suseland (C) 4, Callie Meyer (B) 10, Casey Shembarger (B) 5, Jordan Jones (B) 4, Amara Mavrakis (B) 3
Suseland (C) 4, Green (C) 2, Mavrakis (B) 6, Meyer (B) 4, Jordan Jones (B) 2
Kaylyn Forrest (C) 4, Tori Baker (C) 2, Jones (B) 3, Katie Hartzler (B) 2, Mavrakis (B) 2, Lilee VandeZande (B) 2
Forrest (C) 40
Janye Butts (C) 5, Baker (C) 4, Tyeisha Fuller (C) 4, Meyer (B) 9, Jennifer Jasper (B) 5, Colleen Ferguson (B) 4, Kennedy Jones (B) 4