Brandywine holds off Rangers in season opener

Published 10:05 am Thursday, August 17, 2023

CASSOPOLIS — The Cassopolis Rangers began their 2023 volleyball season on their home floor Wednesday evening against non-conference opponent, the Brandywine Bobcats.

Led by seniors Atyanna Alford and Ella Smith, the Rangers kept it close and competitive, but fell just short in three sets to the Bobcats, 25-19, 25-21 and 25-23.

Senior Ryli Burks tallied seven kills to go along with an ace during the contest, while Alford combined for three kills and two aces. Ella Smith added three kills and one ace for Cassopolis.

Bobcats senior Kadence Brumitt led the team with three aces, 15 kills and 16 digs, along with one block. Fellow senior Kallie Solloway added 12 kills and nine blocks.

Senior Ellie Knapp led the Bobcats with 32 assists, three kills and nine digs. Senior Chloe Parker was able to tally 16 digs alongside Solloway, while senior Nevaeh Mason added 12 digs for the away team. Julia Babcock, also a senior, finished with four kills and a block to help lead Brandywine to victory, Niyah Mason and Addy Drotoz each added a block.

Brandywine Head Coach Emily Zablocki-Kohler spoke highly of her team after their first match of the 2023 season.

“Tonight was a nice win to start the season,” she said “I love seeing the cohesive and caring teamwork that our team brought to the court tonight. We have some areas where we need to improve, but I’m happy with how we played.

“We showed resilience at times when it was needed and had fewer highs and lows than we’ve had in past seasons. I have high expectations as we continue to mesh on the court and bring in some new and returning faces to the lineup and team. Fortunately, we have several early tournaments in the next few days, so we can work through some different lineups and continue to build our cohesiveness on the court with a lot of playing time in very few days”.

Cassopolis head coach Kaisha Martin missed Wednesday’s match as she was suspended for two dates due to a practice violation. She will also miss Saturday’s Portage Central tournament.

Each team has an opportunity to progress as they compete in tournament play this weekend before their next dual match.