By MARK RUSCHAU
COLDWATER — The state-ranked Minster Wildcat volleyball
team remains unbeaten, but barely.
The Wildcats had all they could handle Thursday night before
subduing the Coldwater Cavaliers 15-9, 7-15, 15-3 in a Midwest
Athletic Conference matchup at the Palace.
Although the loss in game two snapped a 35-game winning streak
for Minster, it did improve to 18-0 overall in match play and
6-0 in conference play. Coldwater falls to 2-4 in the MAC and
“Getting beat in the second game might be the best thing
that happened to us this year because it gets that monkey off
our back,” said Minster coach Rick Carter. “We know
how to win, and the kids came back and showed what they were
In the first game, Minster jumped out to an early 6-2 lead before
Coldwater rallied to tie the score at nine.
“We came out and played just the way we wanted to play,”
said Coldwater coach Jeanette Vaughn. “Our big focus was
the middle and we did a good job of handling Robyn Hoying. Katie
Homan had 14 blocks and Jackie Kahlig had eight blocks, so we
did the job we had to do.”
Minster scored the game’s last six points to win the first
game. The key for the ’Cats down the stretch in game one
was the play of Hoying, who contributed three offense kills.
In game two, playing perhaps some of their best ball of the
season, Coldwater never trailed in handing the ’Cats their
first game loss of the season. Two kills by Jackie Kahlig and
a Minster hitting error gave the Cavs an early 4-1 lead.
Minster rallied back to cut the deficit to 4-3 on back-to-back
kills by Hoying but that was to be as close as they were to
come as Coldwater scored the game’s next three point to
make it 7-3. Karla Niekamp and Katie Homan combined on a block,
Niekamp had a solo block and Homan and Brittany Klenke combined
for a block for the three points.
Minster came as close as 9-6, but Coldwater scored four straight
to regain control of the game at 13-6. Two Minster errors and
kills by the Cavaliers’ Alyssa Vogel and Niekamp accounted
for the points.
After a kill by the Cats’ Danae Spieles made the score
13-7, Coldwater moved to game point on a combined block by Homan
and Klenke. After an exchange of sideouts, the Cavaliers closed
out the game on a kill by Homan.
“We did exactly what we wanted to do, we got the momentum
by playing well,” said Vaughn. “We played solid
and did exactly what we wanted to do.”
“Coldwater came in here and played some of their best
ball of the year,” said Carter. “They played awesome,
they blocked the heck out of us and we had not seen blocking
like that at all this year.
Coldwater grabbed an early 1-0 lead in game three as Kahlig
and Vogel combined on a block, but that was to be the last hurrah
of the match for the Cavaliers.
Minster had the answer, as it got on the board on a pair of
kills by Valarie Bornhorst and a pair of miscues by the Cavs
to take the lead for good at 4-1.
After an exchange of sideouts, Minster put the game and the
match out of reach as it scored seven straight points on the
serve of Hoyng to take an 11-1 lead. Bornhorst, Laura Gruber
and Spieles contributed kills during the spurt.
The Cats closed out the match on a pair of kills by Bornhorst,
a kill by Spieles and a Coldwater hitting error.
“In the third game we began to run things a little quicker
offensively,” said Carter. “In the first two games
we were setting things way too high and they would block it
back on us, so we started to run things a little quicker and
it got things going for us.”
“Mental lapses cost us the third game,” said Vaughn.
“Mental things started creeping back and they haunted
us in the third game, like they have hurt us all year long.
We’re a young team and we’ll get better at those
things, in fact we’ve been getting better at the mental
game but against teams like that you have to eliminate more
of the mistakes then we did tonight.”
Coldwater returns to action Saturday as it hosts the Knap’s
Invitational. Minster returns to play on Tuesday hosting New