Bucks hold off Bobcats in five-set thriller

Published 5:10 pm Saturday, September 23, 2023

BUCHANAN — Two of the top teams in the Lakeland Conference squared off as rivals Brandywine and Buchanan slugged it out in a five-set thriller.

The host Bucks jumped out to a 2-0 lead by winning the opening sets, only to have the Bobcats come back and win the next two sets to force a winner-take-all fifth set.

Brandywine was one point away from pulling off the comeback, leading 14-11, but could not seal the deal as Buchanan rallied, tied the set, and eventually won it 20-18 to earn the 3-2 victory.

The Bucks ended up with the 25-19, 25-19, 21-25, 14-25 and 20-18 win to improve to 12-2 overall and 1-0 in the Lakeland Conference. Brandywine drops to 18-7-1 overall and 1-1 in league play.

“Tonight was a great game,” said Buchanan Coach Shelly Bossert. “We struggled with consistency with our new line up without Alyssa [Carson] We really showed how much heart we have as a team in game five when we came back at the end. I’m really proud of the leadership from Keegan May and Chloe Aalfs. I also thought Kenzie Boller, who was just pulled up from JV, stepped up and had some big plays for us at the end.”

Brandywine Coach Emily Kohler-Zablocki thought her team was going to pull off the comeback, but was also happy with the way her team battled.

“Obviously the outcome wasn’t what we wanted, but I couldn’t be more proud of the heart and resilience the cats showed tonight. We’ve been working hard on persevering and bettering every ball and we showed growth in that tonight,” she said. “The ladies played as a team and worked together and I’m happy to see the cohesion that we’ve gained as the season has progressed. It was a great match for all no one in the gym was going to back down and we want to play those hard-fought battles in preparation for the post season.”

Aalf led Buchanan with 16 kills to go along with 19 digs. Boller finished with six kills. Riley Capron had a team-high 20 digs, while Laney Kehoe and Emily Holt ended the match with 12 and 10 digs, respectively. Sophia Bachman had 39 assists.

Kadence Brumitt and Kallie Solloway were dominating at the net for the Bobcats as they comebined for 51 kills with Brumitt leading the way with 27. She also tied Chloe Parker for the team lead in digs with 24. Solloway added 18 digs and a team-high five assists.