Chieftains hold off Paw Paw upset bid

Published 12:11 pm Wednesday, September 14, 2022

DOWAGIAC — It was a roller coaster night for the Dowagiac volleyball team against former Wolverine Conference foe Paw Paw Tuesday.

The Chieftains, who were playing without starter Caleigh Wimberley due to illness, struggled to find consistency against the Red Wolves.

In the end, Dowagiac was able to stave off the upset bid as it defeated Paw Paw 25-17, 27-25, 26-28, 22-25 and 15-9.

“Tonight, the girls started off strong but then got tired through the game,” said Dowagiac Coach Amber Todd. “We were missing a key player, Caleigh Wimberlye, out due to illness. The girls pushed hard and finished with a win.”

The Chieftains (8-4-2) were dominant in that opening set and the start of the second set. The Red Wolves would not give up and when Dowagiac started making mistakes, they took advantage of the situation.

Paw Paw was unable to pull out the second set, but despite being down 2-0, still had plenty of fight left.

The Chieftains struggled in all phases of the match in the third and fourth set, which allowed the Red Wolves to tie it up at 2-2.

“We are still continuing to work on running a faster offense and making smarter choices in pressure situations,” Todd said.

Just when it looked as if Paw Paw may steal the match, Abbey Dobberstein stepped up in the fifth and deciding set. Her serving helped the Chieftains open up a 10-3 that the Red Wolves were unable to overcome.

Dobberstein finished with 11 kills, 14 digs and 1.5 blocks. Alanah Smith had a team-high 15 kills to go along with a block, while Maggie Weller finished the night with 11 kills, 13 digs and 1.5 blocks.

Brooklyn Smith led the team with 28 assists. She and Lyla Elrod led the team with four aces, while Elrod also had 13 digs and Smith seven. Damia Brooks contributed six digs and a pair of aces.

Dowagiac will be back in action Saturday at the Portage Central Invitational.