Friday, September 30th, 2011
Cavs win for fourth time in MAC action
By Randy Bruns
Coldwater's Brooke Welsch, 13, and Emily Kahlig, right, combine to block the spi. . .
COLDWATER - After a tough five-game loss to Celina on Tuesday, the Coldwater Cavaliers rebounded with a four-set victory over the Fort Recovery Indians on Thursday at The Palace.
For a while it appeared that the Cavaliers were stuck in the same doldrums that they were during Tuesday's match, which Coldwater's coach Mike Etzler described as "the battle of the ugly." But once they got going the hosts didn't let up and cruised to the win by scores of 25-20, 20-25, 25-21 and 25-10.
Coldwater improves to 10-7 on the year and 4-2 in the Midwest Athletic Conference while the loss drops Fort Recovery to 4-10 overall and 1-5 in league play.
"It was ugly at first, and even the first game we won was ugly and then into game two," said Etzler. "But we got better and we took care of some stuff in game four that we really haven't taken care of most of the season."
The Indians had a part in the Cavaliers' struggles in the first set, as the visitors appeared hungry for their second league win. Kelsey Fiely fired off three consecutive winners that culminated with an ace to give the visitors an early 7-3 advantage. The Indians stubbornly clung to the lead for as long as they could but Coldwater's Whitney Schaefer reeled off five straight winners to give the hosts a 15-12 advantage.
The Indians later clawed back to within one at 18-17 after a kill from Kara Faller, but Coldwater's Kelsey Rammel smacked a kill and followed with an ace and another service point to give the Cavaliers a 21-17 lead that wouldn't be threatened.
Fort Recovery gained a quick lead in game two and never trailed. Kylie Kahlig was the go-to hitter for the visitors early on, banging four kills as her team took a 12-5 advantage. Coldwater put on a late charge and pulled to within 22-19 after a pair of Fort Recovery hitting errors, but Fiely scored on a tip to stop the run and helped the visitors notch the win.
The third set was tight in the beginning with seven ties and multiple lead changes. The Cavaliers finally gained some breathing room when Rammel scored on consecutive kills, and later Schaefer stepped to the service line for four straight winners that put the hosts up 17-11. The Indians went on a mini-run late in the set to keep things interesting, but a hitting error finally gave the Cavaliers a one-set advantage in the match.
For all the back-and-forth action in the first three sets, the finale was a one-sided affair, as the Cavaliers steamrolled from the start. Rammel knocked three kills in a 5-0 early run, and the sophomore later drilled three more spikes in a 6-0 spurt that gave the hosts a commanding 15-6 lead. It was all over but the shouting, and most of the shouting came from the Coldwater side until Macy Reigelsperger notched a pair of late kills to seal the match.
Despite the loss, Fort Recovery's coach Kylie Huelsman definitely sees signs of improvement in her Indians' play.
"It's a 100 percent improvement from the beginning of the season to tonight," said Huelsman. "I was very happy with how we played offensively (tonight) because usually that's where we struggle. We can pick up the balls but we can't seem to hammer them home, but we did a lot of good things tonight."
Riegelsperger led the way for the Cavaliers with 15 kills but Rammel was right on her heels with 14 and freshman Brooke Welsch tallied 11. Emily Kahlig totaled nine kills and also amassed five stuff blocks.
"Kelsey Rammel is really starting to pick it up on the outside," complimented Etzler. "She kind of struggled this season with her timing, and we haven't even worked a lot with her on that because we work so much on ball control and serve receive. Plus Brooke Welsch and Emily Kahlig are really playing well."
Fort Recovery gets right back into action this weekend when it participates in the Crestview Invitational on Saturday while Coldwater gets a week off before hosting MAC-leading St. Henry next Thursday.