Eddies 3-2, Chieftains 2-1 at Dowagiac Quad

Published 10:18 am Wednesday, September 6, 2023

DOWAGIAC — The Edwardsburg volleyball team shook off some rust as it swept its three opponents at the Dowagiac Quad Tuesday night.

The Eddies, who have not played since mid-Augusts when they opened the season at Gull Lake and Portage Central tournaments on back-to-back days, defeated South Haven 25-19 and 25-15, defeated the host Chieftains 25-16 and 25-12, and then wrapped up the night with a 25-16 and 25-14 over Wolverine Conference foe Vicksburg.

“Overall, we haven’t played in two weeks and our first two tournaments had some tough competition, but we did well,” said Edwardsburg Coach Sarah Strefling. “Being on the court again, for a match, felt good. The girls were ready to compete, and with five seniors this season I felt the outcome was positive.”

Strefling said she is mixing her upper classmen with some newcomers. So far, the results are promising.

“I feel excited for season, pressure to step up and fill some pretty high expectations, but this group can do it; the talent is there. We also have three freshmen on the team, which is exciting for them to be mentored by some great athletes and overall good kids. Danni Purlee has stepped into that libero role with full force, she is consistent and quick. Drew Glaser and Sarah Pippin return offensively with their explosive hitting, and Lexi Schimpa will complete her senior year setting this great group.”

Glaser led the Eddies with 30 kills and a pair of blocks, while Pippin finished with 25 kills, 13 digs and a pair of blocks. Purlee had 10 digs and four service aces. Schimpa ended the night with 43 assists, 10 kills and 10 digs.

“They all have personal goals for the season, so our main goal is to continue to mesh as a team, and really identify our strengths and roll with them,” Strefling said.  “Our coaching team is passionate and eager to see some wonderful success on the court with goose bump moments that keep us coming back.”

Edwardsburg is now 8-3 on the season.

Dowagiac (7-6-4) started the quad with a three-set victory and ended it with a three-set win over South Haven. In between, the Chieftains were swept by the Eddies.

Dowagiac topped the Bulldogs 25-13, 15-25 and 15-13 before falling to Edwardsburg 25-16 and 25-12. The Chieftains rebounded to knock off the Rams 16-25, 25-20 and 15-10.

“Tonight, our girls pushed through and played through adversity,” said Dowagiac Coach Amber Todd. “Abbey Dobberstein and Hazel Kelly were out due to illness. The girls worked and came out with two wins. There are still things that need to be worked on but I have seen so much improvement already with this group of girls.”

Marlie Carpenter stepped up and led Dowagiac with 10 kills and two blocks. Maggie Weller finished the night with nine kills, eight digs, five aces and 2.5 blocks. Brooklyn Smith, Alexandra Gasca and Riley Todd all contributed six kills.

Smith led Dowagiac in aces with six, while Zabrina Shivers had a team-high 22 digs.

Edwardsburg is back on the court Thursday when it hosts Plainwell in its Wolverine Conference opener.

Dowagiac returns to action Sept. 12 when it travels to Paw Paw to face the Red Wolvines in a non-conference match.