Bobcats breeze into semis

 

Brethren’s Mary Voorhees (3) sends the ball over then as teammates Sarah Wayward (8), Sheldin Wilks (center right) and Kylah Fischer (5) look on during the Bobcats’ 4-set win over Mason County Eastern in the first round of their Class D district volleyball tournament at Walkerville on Monday. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

Brethren’s Mary Voorhees (3) sends the ball over then as teammates Sarah Wayward (8), Sheldin Wilks (center right) and Kylah Fischer (5) look on during the Bobcats’ 4-set win over Mason County Eastern in the first round of their Class D district volleyball tournament at Walkerville on Monday. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

WALKERVILLE — Brethren fought to keep their season alive Monday in a tough 4-set victory over Mason County Eastern in the Class D district quarterfinals.

The Bobcats prevailed after a slow and scary first set which they lost 16-25.

They fell behind 6-11 and, with a shorthanded team, they were unable to make up the ground.

Brethren was playing with two girls out serving a suspension for disciplinary reasons and they were forced to play around with their lineup.

“I think some of it is just the nerves. Having to adjust so quickly just in the last week and a half, switching so much up in regards to players and positions,” head coach Rachel Edmondson said. “After the first set they got into a groove and they became a much more cohesive looking team.”

“After the first set our team did a really good job of putting together our energy and pulling through for our coaches. They inspire us a lot, and we just want to perform for them the best that we can after all of the work they put in for us,” sophomore Whitney Dean said. “When we came into the huddle our coaches made it pretty obvious how important this was. We needed to play for ourselves, our coaches, our school, and we needed to do for them what they do for us.”

They closed the evening with three consecutive wins 25-16, 26-24, 25-17.

In the second set they jumped out to a 11-1 lead and never looked back.

During the third set they faced some adversity again when they had to come back from a 7-point deficit at 11-18. They finished on a 15-6 run to win 26-24.

After playing 3 close sets they were able to pull away in the final set and win 25-17.

“I told them that I need more. It was as simple as, ‘I need more from you,’ because I know they have it. I know what they have inside. They started showing that. They stepped up. They started going to the people that we knew that we could rely on to get that ball over, and get some good balls.”

With the absent players Brethren needed their top players to step up, and they did.

Senior Naomi Mason had 16 kills, senior Sheldin Wilks had 13 digs and 12 assists. Dean had another triple-double with 10 kills, 13 digs and 14 assists.

“They were huge. Just looking at the stats it shows,” Edmondson said. “Those are some huge numbers from the leadership of our team.”

With the win Brethren will advance to face Manistee Catholic Central in the district semifinals on Wednesday at Walkerville. The two teams have split in their two meetings this season.

“It’s back to work tomorrow. We have to work until Wednesday,” Edmondson said.

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Posted by Brian Fogg

Brian is the sports writer for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3110 or bfogg@pioneergroup.com.

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