Baldwin wins first match of season 3-2 against Mason County Eastern

Baldwin’s Jazynn Johnson (21) goes after the ball against MCE’s Skylar Harry. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

BALDWIN — It came down to the wire with Baldwin able to overcome Mason County Eastern 3-2 and win its first dual match of the volleyball season on senior night.

The Panthers overcame the menacing net play of MCE’s Jenny Appledorn and prevailed 25-16, 21-25, 25-23, 14-25, 15-12 in a marathon match against their West Michigan D League rivals.

After winning the first set, Baldwin took the lead 14-12 on two straight aces by Jazlynn Johnson. Then the Cardinals came back and ended the match on a kill by Jordyn Wittlieff.

Baldwin trailed 14-11 in the third set but Panther senior Kendra Speer took over at the service line for two straight aces and another point to tie the game 18-18. Mariah Sowle later had an ace for a 23-20 lead. Johnson’s tip made it 24-22 but a net error on MCE ended the game.

The Cardinals got out to a 9-0 lead in the fourth set and went on to the win.

The Cardinals had a 11-10 lead in the final set. Speer had a kill to tie it and Johnson followed with an ace. MCE had a double hit error. Jenna Johnson followed with a kill and Are’Yania Boatwright’s ace ended the match in Baldwin’s favor.

Talking was the key for Baldwin, Speer said.

“We had to overcome our fears of (Appledorn) being tall and intimidating,” Speer said. “As we progressed, we get better and better.”

Speer, Jazlynn Johnson and Sowle are the graduating seniors.

“It was exciting and electrifying and I’m so happy my girls got out with a win, especially my seniors,” coach Duane Roberts said. “It was nice to bring this out before districts. My three seniors contributed tonight. It was an all-around great game. It was one of my proudest moments for my girls to bring it back together.”

Baldwin is idle until Division 4 districts start on Oct. 29.

Manton 3, Evart 0

MANTON — Manton defeated Evart 25-17, 25-8, 25-10 in Highland Conference action on Tuesday.

McKenzie Kimball had eight assists, two kills and two aces for Evart, Livia Hopkins had three kills, one assist and one ace and Angel Porter had a kill and two blocks for Evart, which plays McBain at home on Tuesday.

White Cloud 3, Morley Stanwood 2

MORLEY — It was about as close as a match could get with Morley Stanwood losing its first CSAA Silver match on Tuesday.

Morley Stanwood won the first two 25-19, 28-26. White Cloud won the next three 25-23, 26-24, 16-14.

The Mohawks played without standout freshman Braelyn Berry, who was injured in a match on Monday at Big Rapids.

“With her absence, the other girls stepped in and I’m, proud on how they played,” MS coach Robin Kozuch said.

The Mohawks beat White Cloud earlier in the season and have a match lead on Hesperia in the league standings. Hesperia is at Morley Stanwood next Wednesday.

For the Mohawks, Erika Ulrich had nine aces, Breanna Berry had 55 digs and Brooke Brauher added 30. Jaidyn Schmitt had 24 kills while Brauher had 14 and Ryleigh Newton and Makenzie Scott added nine apiece. Schmitt had four blocks and Mikayla Moore had 26 assists.

The Mohawks, 23-12 overall, are 8-1 in the league and can win the title outright with a win over Hesperia.

NMC 3, Pine River 2

Pine River lost to NMC in five sets on Tuesday 25-23,21-25, 25-21, 23-25,15-10.

Emma Whitley had 18 kills and 17 digs, Parker Moores had 8 kills and 12 digs and Sophie Johnson had 25 assists and 16 digs.

“We just couldn’t get in a rhythm all night,” Pine River coach Jana Dennis said. “We would get a few little runs and then allowed them to close the gaps with our mistakes. NMC did a good job at keeping us on our toes.”

Next up is on Oct. 24 with a Highland Conference quad at home.

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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