Varsity volleyball defeats Cedar Springs 3-1

Varsity volleyball defeats Cedar Springs 3-1

Thursday night, at the home of the Cedar Springs Red Hawks, Ranger varsity volleyball would fight to improve their conference record to 5-5. Consistently using both setters, freshmen Hannah Bergman and Morghan Tilton, the team defeated the Redhawks 3-1.

Over the past few games, coach Colleen Shields has recently started using both setters more frequently.

“In order to prepare for bigger, tougher competition, post-season we have to practice running different systems to weigh our options,” said Shields. “During the season two setters are a must, so this means giving them both playing time in preparation to find out which system work best.”

Set one started rather poorly for the Rangers as they got down to a 3-0 deficit, but senior captain Kendall Gardner, who recently got back to playing since her concussion, was able to get two aces to lead the team on a 5-0 run to put themselves up 5-3.

“I feel like I was able to come back [from my concussion] and feel pretty normal for the most part,” Kendall said. “It definitely took some getting used to being back out there again.”

After back and forth scoring, the Rangers were able to obtain a five point lead, 12-7,, and make the Redhawks take a timeout. With two offensive points by junior Katherine Fowler and freshman Hannah Bergman alongside numerous Cedar Springs errors, the Ranger lead was increased even further to 20-12. The Rangers got the final five points needed after another Cedar Springs error, a back row kill from Kendall, and two kills from senior Emma Beck. Kendall would earn the 25th point with a freeball, 25-18.

With constant back and forth play, it was difficult for either team to gain momentum early on in set two. Cedar Springs eventually earned four consecutive points after a Ranger timeout at 5-5 to put it to 9-5. Emma was able to get two kills alongside a miraculous kill by junior Katrina Bodkins that went straight into the corner of the court to put them down by one, 10-9. They were able to tie it at 15-15 which lead to three more ties up to 18-18 until the Rangers broke the cycle with two consecutive blocks from Kendall and junior Caileigh Treash. A 5-1 run from Cedar Springs put them up 23-21, but the Rangers earned the four pointed needed to win the game 25-23 before the Redhawks could earn their two.

FHC jumped out to a 7-3 lead in set three after kills from Kendall, Katrina, and Emma. Despite the energetic start from the team, Cedar Springs gained momentum to put themselves up 13-8. They eventually lost their composure, giving up six points with errors to let the Rangers back into the game at 18-15. Senior Audrey Tubbs earned two aces to put them down by one. After a controversial call that got reversed in favor of FHC, the game was tied at 19-19. Two points later another call would be reversed, this time against FHC to put Cedar Springs up by two, 22-20. Back and forth scoring led to a 24-24 tie until the Red hawks earned two consecutive points to win the set 26-24.

“Cedar Springs was putting up a fight [in set three],” Kendall said. “But we gave them a run for their money which really wore them out.”

Set four was a much easier win for the Rangers, defeating them 25-11. After the usual roller coaster start, two kills from Katrina and two aces from Audrey gave them a solid lead of six, 9-3. The lead for the Rangers continued to grow with a slide kill from freshman Julia Bouma and an overpass kill from Kendall for a score of 18-6. Cedar Springs started to regain their composure later in the game, but it was too late for the Rangers had already sealed the deal with a kill from Emma to end it 25-11.

“We realized we had a job to do in set four,” said Kendall. “We worked hard and played smarter, such as placing our attacks and tips in open areas.”