FHC Varsity Volleyball Drops Competitive Match to FHN

FHC Varsity Volleyball Drops Competitive Match to FHN

Sean Wing, Sports Reporter

Sometimes, no matter how hard you play, you still find yourself on the bottom looking up.

After beating FHE in its first match, the Rangers volleyball team lost two consecutive games to the rival Huskies in the annual Battle of the Hills. The Rangers lost the first game 25-19 and the second game 25-21. Both games were incredibly competitive, but the Rangers couldn’t string enough points together to get either win.  Even with the disappointing loss, senior Reese Weslow was proud of her team’s effort.

“Even when we were down, we kept playing hard,” Reese said. “We might not have won the game, but we fought back every point, even when they were up.”

Senior Emily Wiltz agreed with her teammate.

“Overall, we had a lot of energy,” Emily said. “I think we came together as a team really well.”

Early in the second game, Reese was all over the court. Her spike tied the score at one. With the Rangers up five to three, Reese served an ace. Then, junior Kendall Gardner had a powerful spike to put FHC up seven to five. Later on, Emily made a dig to save a point for the Rangers. The next points scored for the Rangers came from Reese.

This time, she tapped it over the FHN front line to put FHC up 13-11. The Huskies scored two straight points, then sophomore Katrina Bodkins’ powerful block put FHC ahead 14-13. Moments later, with the Rangers down by one, Kendall tied the score at 19 with another kill. FHN strung a few points together, and the Rangers didn’t have an answer.

Head coach Lauren Heinz thought FHN played much better than the last time these two teams faced off — a Ranger victory in a tournament earlier this season.

“They had better ball control than the last time we played them,” Heinz said. “They were blocking well, and their two main hitters were hitting well. I mean, they’re good.”

Reese thought the key to the game was team speed.

“They had a very effective offense,” Reese said. “It kind of tore apart our defense. They’re really fast, and I think that’s what got us.”

Heinz saw her players battling and thinks today’s match could propel the to victory in their next meeting.

“I think we did a good job making adjustments based on what the other team was doing,” Coach Heinz said. “The players were really coachable. Against Eastern, we just went out and got it done. The match against Northern was a tough match. We battled the whole time and we know there’s some things to watch out for next time we play them.”

Heinz, whose team’s next competition is Saturday in the East Kentwood Classic, likes that her team is playing hard, but knows they need to improve in some areas if they want to be successful.

“We need to improve our consistent level of play,” she said. “Playing the same level no matter what the score is. It’s more of a mental thing. We have to pick up on what’s going on with the other team. Who their strength players are and knowing, ‘Okay, where are they? What are their tendencies? Where are they going to run?’ That’s more of the strategic side of the game that we need to work on.”