Jackets back in win column, down Bobcats in three sets


PERRYSBURG — Visiting Bowling Green volleyball had set point on Perrysburg, but the Jackets recovered to win the third set and the match, 25-21, 25-16, 29-27, Thursday in Northern Lakes League action.

Perrysburg not only recovered to win the third set, but recovered to win their first NLL match after consecutive league losses to Fremont Ross (7-3, 4-3) and undefeated league leader Anthony Wayne (11-1, 7-0).

“It really shows that we still have grit and we are still the same team even though we had those tough losses,” Perrysburg junior middle blocker Wrigley Takats said. “We still know our identity and we are not going to lose that.”

Perrysburg coach Laura Davidson added, “It was nice to see them come in, fired up, going for balls. I think we brought some more energy to the court tonight.

“They definitely came into practice yesterday ready to work knowing that we need to make a shift in the mindset and that is what they came out to do.”

Perrysburg junior outside hitter Sophie Burkey recorded a game-high 19 kills and Takats had six kills, four blocks and three aces.

Senior setter Lydia Steyer, sophomore middle blocker Mia Brandeberry, and junior outside hitter Riley Doria had three kills apiece, Steyer and Brandeberry had two blocks each, and Steyer and fershman defensive specialist Macey White had three aces apiece.

The Yellow Jackets improved to 7-2 overall and 5-2 in the NLL Buckeye Division. The Bobcats fell to 4-6 and 2-5 in the Cardinal Division, but three of those league losses are to the bigger Buckeye Division schools, which they only play once.

In the first set, BG opened a 5-3 lead on a kill by sophomore outside hitter Ruby Suter, but the Yellow Jackets reeled off eight of the next nine points, mostly behind the serving of White, to take an 11-6 lead and never trailed again.

In the second set, the Bobcats again opened an early lead, 4-2, but the Jackets reeled off six straight points on two aces by Takats, two points off a kill and block by junior Mackenzie Hurley, and a kill by Burkey.

The Yellow Jackets never trailed again in that set, but two consecutive kills by senior opposite hitter Brooke Lavey brought BG back to within three, 17-14, before the Jackets closed on an 8-2 run.

In the third set, an ace by BG libero Hanna Heinze gave the Bobcats a quick 8-3 lead and BG maintained a waning lead, until Doria came onto the scene.

Doria played a role in four straight Perrysburg points with three kills and she had the saving dig and assist on a kill by senior right side hitter Lydia Steyer, taking the Jackets from an 11-10 deficit to a 14-11 lead.

“Riley brings a lot of energy,” Davidson said. “She’s quick. She’s going to swing at the ball hard. She’s not going to put it down on the 10-foot line, but she’s going to put the ball where we want her to and following our directions.

“She’s going to get those tips off the block which are sometimes harder to get for their defense. I thought she did a great job tonight and brought the energy we needed.”

However, BG fought back thanks to multiple block assists by Suter, junior Madison Cowan, freshman Lucy Bowers, senior opposite hitter Macyn Dean-Scheele, and junior middle hitter Tara Hastings.

BG senior setter Katelyn Barnhart’s ace gave the Bobcats set point at 24-22, but Takats responded with a kill and Takats and Doria combined for a block to knot the set at 24-24.

Cowan and Suter scored on kills, but in between was a BG serve into the net, and with the game tied at 26, the unthinkable happened at the wrong time.

Heinze, who was to serve, went down with a cramp, and it seemed to throw the Bobcats out of rhythm. Burkey closed the set out on two kills, giving the Yellow Jackets a 3-0 sweep in sets.

“The problem was we were low on subs so when that happens, what do you do?” Mathias said. “We did a lot of good things in that third set.

“It just wasn’t enough, given the situation. We faced that adversity and it just wasn’t the adversity that we wanted to have to deal with at that moment in time.”

Senior opposite hitter Brooke Lavey led the Bobcats with 10 kills, Cowan had nine kills, Bowers had five kills, Suter had five blocks and Hastings had three blocks. Despte losing, Mathias saw consistency.

“I feel like one of the things we’ve been working on a lot is being as consistent as we possibly can because that is where we’ve been struggling,” Mathias said.

“Keep the ball in play, let the other team make mistakes, and I think we struggled a little bit in set one and set two with some unforced errors and quite a few mistakes, but set three I thought we played a really clean game.

“That’s what it takes. When you play a clean game like that you are going to be in the game. We’ve got girls who are doing some good things.”

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