Buchanan volleyball earns Senior Night win over Michigan Lutheran

BUCHANAN — The Buchanan volleyball team made sure to make the most of its Senior Night.

The Bucks defeated Michigan Lutheran 25-22, 25-17,25-17 Wednesday in BCS Athletic Conference action to improve to 9-2 on the season.

Buchanan coach Shelly Bender said that the team elected to move up Senior Night due to the season’s unpredictability due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Katie Schau, Claire Shelton, Kylie Boller and Kaylin Rogers make up the Bucks’ four-member senior class.

“We wanted to make sure the seniors got recognized,” she said. “We have four of them this year, and they’re all really important to the team. We wanted their parents to be here when they could still be here. It wasn’t emotional since it wasn’t the last game, so it ended up working out really well. Everyone had a good time.”

Buchanan got off to a bumpy start against the Titans before finding its groove. Trailing 18-13 in the first set, the Bucks ended the set on a 12-4 run to secure the win.

“I think we started off a little slow,” said Buchanan senior captain Katie Schau. “I feel like that’s usually how it goes with Senior Night. It’s a little emotional, and I feel like in the end we all played really well together.”

Buchanan wore down Michigan Lutheran in sets two and three with its size and length and led by more than 10 points in each set.

“That’s a good team, a tall team,” said Michigan Lutheran coach Bruce Mollineaux. “We hung in there. We passed a lot. Every game, they just happened to get that one run to get us behind the eight-ball. That’s a tall team, they hit around the blocks.

Faith Carson had seven kills, seven aces and two solo blocks for Buchanan. Katie Schau had seven kills and 14 digs and Kylie Boller added seven kills. Hailey Jonatzke had 15 digs and Claire Shelton added 29 assists.

“I thought we played really well as a team,” Bender said. “Everyone contributed and everyone did their part. That’s how you win games.”

Bender likes what she has seen from the team as of late and believes her team has what it takes to earn a BCS title.

“We are on the rise,” Bender said. “We’re 9-2 and working hard. We’re really trying to speed up our game and trying to run some different kinds of hits. We’re looking forward to a very good October. Our goal is to win the conference this year and win our upcoming games. We have South Haven next, and they’re gonna be a good team. We have to work hard this next week so that we can get another win.”

This season has not been normal for athletes across the state, but Schau and her fellow seniors are doing their best to lead the team through uncertain times.

“Us four seniors are captains this year,” Schau said. “I feel like we all have a lot of experience with volleyball. You just have to have the mindset that everyone’s in the same situation and that we all have to work really hard together to get every point and to lift up our underclassmen.”

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