Varsity Volleyball is named Queen of the Hills in the 2019 Battle of the Hills Invite

Varsity Volleyball is named Queen of the Hills in the 2019 Battle of the Hills Invite

The varsity volleyball team competed in the Battle of the Hills this past Tuesday, against inter-district rivals Forest Hills Eastern and Forest Hills Northern. The winner of this tournament would be named the Queen of the Hills, and the Rangers were the ones to claim that title by the end of the night. 

Facing off against the Huskies first, the Rangers were able to secure the win easily in two sets. The first set went to the Rangers with a score of 25-19, and the second set concluded with a score of 25-16 in FHC’s favor. 

“Beating FHN was awesome,” said sophomore Sophie Shields. “The team played very well. We had prepared for the game at practices beforehand, and coming into the game we all knew we had to stay calm and remember what we worked on, which in the end is exactly what we did.” 

The Rangers defense was the true deciding factor in their win against the Huskies. FHN’s serves were constantly picked up by junior Julia Bouma, who had a stellar game as libero. Julia was able to dig the ball a copious amount of times from Northern’s powerful front line and their servers. Not to mention, the Rangers entire front line also blocked several of the Huskies point attempts. 

Junior Tatum Oltolski also played a huge role in the team’s victory, and she was accompanied by freshman Sarah Dunn and sophomore Sophie Shields. The team fed off of this trio’s offensive attacks and were able to score multiple points in the Rangers favor. 

“It is always great to get a quality team win,” Sarah said. “However, it is even better when it is against your rival. We were just able to create for each other, and everything overall contributed to a great win.”

Headed into their second game of the night, the Rangers were set to take on the third and final of the Forest Hill’s high schools: the Forest Hills Eastern Hawks. The Hawks have a very strong volleyball program; however, the Rangers were coming off a high after beating the Huskies and ended up beating the Hawks in three sets. 

The game started off slow for the Rangers as they ended up losing the first set with a score of 25-23. However, they quickly bounced back in the second set winning 27-25. As the third set commenced, the Rangers took off and destroyed FHE with a final score of 15-5. 

“FHE is a very good team, but we knew that if we executed our game plan, then we would have a good shot at beating them,” Sarah said. “The energy at the end of the game was outstanding and helped us push through to a strong finish.” 

Senior captain Lauren Schofield had an amazing game and was able to get several kills in order to earn the Rangers much needed points in the midst of the intense game. 

“We played one point at a time and really stayed focus in the final minutes,” said Lauren. “Playing in those final minutes was so much fun, and everyone played their hearts out and played very smart.” 

The junior duo of Morghan Tilton and Katie Costello also played a key role in the game. These two played in the setter positions and created a majority of the points for their team off of the stellar assists they set-up for the Rangers. 

“We never lost trust in each other in those final moments of the game,” Sophie said. “When we did this, it created a lot of positive energy that the team was able to feed off of to pull off the victory.”

After winning both of their games the Rangers were officially announced the winners of the highly-competitive Battle of the Hills. 

Next, the Rangers volleyball team will take on the Cedar Springs Red Hawks this Tuesday, September 17. The game will be held at home at 6:00 pm.