By ROBB HEMMELGARN
COLDWATER — Both Coldwater and St. Marys were teams looking
to wind down the regular season last night at the Palace with
a burst of momentum as the tournament looms on the horizon.
Cavaliers finished on the positive side of the scoreboard, defeating
St. Marys in two hard-fought games by finals of 15-12 and 15-12.
The win pushes the Orange and Black to 12-9 on the season, and
they will close regular season competition Thursday night against
the Fort Recovery Indians.
The Roughriders witness their record slip to 14-8 overall, and
they will travel to Lima Bath on Saturday to face the Wildcats
in the sectional tournament opener.
“I was very pleased to see the girls play a solid game
both offensively and defensively tonight,” remarked first-year
Cavalier head coach Jeanette Vaughn. “With the season
coming to a close, it’s nice to have a little upswing
in momentum before the start of the tournament.”
The Cavaliers opened the contest by denting the scoreboard first,
but St. Marys quickly answered with a pair of successful serves
from senior Krissy Haines to give the visitors a 2-1 lead. Coldwater
tied the game at 2-2 a short time later, but the Roughriders
came back with three straight points to take a 5-2 lead.
Coldwater stormed back with four points from junior Amanda Harting
and senior Alyssa Vogel to take a 6-5 lead. St. Marys responded
with another pair of points to go up 7-6, but from there it
was all Coldwater for the games next several points.
Harting served up four straight and the home team was in charge,
10-7. A pair of sideouts by each team and the Cavaliers hung
another three points from the serving of senior Jackie Kahlig.
Trailing 13-7, the Roughriders battled back, getting as close
as 13-12, however, it was not enough. The Cavaliers nailed the
games final two points as Harting and Vogel’s service
points, secured their teams’ opening-game win.
“Tonight we did the same little things wrong that we’ve
done in most of our other losses this season,” commented
St. Marys head coach Monica Vnaderhorst. “We need to be
more consistent, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
Hopefully we learned from our mistakes tonight and we can get
them straightened out and be ready for the tournament to start
this weekend. We can’t continue to make the same mistakes,
because if we do, we’ll be in a lot of trouble on Saturday.”
St. Marys began the second game with two quick points from junior
Maggie Hegemier, but Harting answered for the Cavaliers with
a pair of successful serves of her own to tie the game at 2-2.
The teams traded points before Coldwater scored back-to-back
points to take a 5-3 lead.
St. Marys scored the games next five points, and the Cavaliers
faced an 8-5 deficit as Harting stepped to the line once again.
She picked up a point and Vogel added two more a short time
later to tie the game at 8-8.
Krissy Haines picked up a pair of points for the Roughriders
to put them ahead 10-8, but Kahlig made sure the lead was short-lived
as she scored two points to knot the contest at 10-10.
The teams traded points two more times, but from there it was
all Orange and Black.
With the battle tied at 12-12, Coldwater freshman Karla Niekamp
scored two straight counters to give her team a two-point lead
at 14-12. With junior Danielle Goubeaux at the serving line
a short while later, the Cavaliers secured the game two victory
as a kill by Kahlig went unreturned by the visitors.
“We have one game left before tournament starts,”
explained Vaughn. “Fort Recovery is a very good team and
the girls need to go into that game and play like they are capable.
Hopefully the rest can take care of itself and we can then concentrate
on the post-season.”
The junior varsity contest was won by St. Marys in three games,
10-15, 16-14, and 15-10.