Friday, October 5th, 2012
Redskins top Cavs in five-game thriller
By Ryan Hines
St. Henry's Ally Mikesell tries to spike the ball past a Coldwater defender duri. . .
ST. HENRY - The high school volleyball postseason doesn't begin for another 11 days, but Redskin Gymnasium had a tournament atmosphere on Thursday night when rivals Coldwater and St. Henry faced off in a Midwest Athletic Conference matchup.
St. Henry appeared to be headed toward a three-game sweep after winning the first two games by matching 25-21 scores, but Coldwater captured the third and four games, 25-21 and 25-14, to force a deciding fifth game. The Cavaliers were two points away from the come-from-behind win with a 13-11 lead, but the Redskins won the final four points to win the marathon match.
"The entire match was like a rollar-coaster ride with so many ups and downs on both sides of the net," said St. Henry's head coach Diana Kramer. "That's the game of volleyball though and I was just happy that my girls were able to fight back and finish the fifth game with all the pressure on us at that point."
Despite the loss, Coldwater's Mike Etzler was proud of the effort from his girls.
"During the first game I told our assistant coaches that I felt that this match was going to go five games because the two teams were so similar," said Etzler. "We showed a lot of heart by fighting back from being down two games, we just couldn't finish it off in the fifth game. You hate to lose games like this, but this will help make us a better team in the long run."
St. Henry is now 16-3 overall and 7-1 in the MAC while Coldwater slips to 12-6 (4-3 MAC).
In the fifth game, the score was tied nine times before Coldwater's Macy Reigelsperger had a stuff block and a kill to give the Cavs a 13-11 lead.
St. Henry's Taylor Clune and Ally Mikesell followed with back-to-back kills to tie the score at 13-13. Following a Coldwater timeout, the Redskins' Sam Thobe hammered home a kill for a 14-13 St. Henry lead and the Cavaliers called another timeout. On the ensuing serve, Coldwater's Kim Hosbach tried to surprise St. Henry with a tip on the second hit but it went straight into the net to clinch the win for the Redskins.
"We have a senior-dominated lineup and our girls never folded and continued to believe that we could win the match even when we were down 13-11 late in the fifth game," said Kramer.
The Redskins controlled the first two games and were four points away from sweeping the match after rallying from a 20-16 deficit to tie the score at 21-21 in the third game. Coldwater went on to win the final four points of the third game on an Erika Hartings kill, an Emily Kahlig block and two St. Henry errors.
St. Henry was nursing a 6-5 lead in the fourth game when Coldwater won 11 of the next 13 points to build a 16-8 advantage. Brooke Welsch had three kills and a stuff block to highlight the Cavaliers' mid-game surge. The Redskins never got closer than seven points the rest of the game.
"Coldwater started to serve-receive better in the third and fourth games and they also had success with their blocking. They seemed to be a step ahead of us in those two games and we had trouble adjusting," said Kramer. "We knew it wasn't going to be an easy match because Coldwater is a great team with a lot of great players. I think that the fans got to see two really good teams battle it out for five games and that atmosphere was great."