Brethren swept by Pentwater in three sets in WMDL opener

Brethren’s Whitney Danks (left) and Mariah Pringle (24) go up to block Pentwater’s Taylor Wilkinson (15, right) during the Bobcats’ 3-set loss to the Falcons Tuesday night. (Scott Yoshonis/News Advocate)

Brethren’s Whitney Danks (left) and Mariah Pringle (24) go up to block Pentwater’s Taylor Wilkinson (15, right) during the Bobcats’ 3-set loss to the Falcons Tuesday night. (Scott Yoshonis/News Advocate)

PENTWATER — Brethren’s West Michigan D League volleyball title hopes took a hit Tuesday, with a 3-set defeat at the hands of league title favorite Pentwater in the conference opener.

The Bobcats fell hard to the skilled, speedy, experienced Falcons 13-25, 10-25, 13-25.

Brethren head coach Jody Powell said that seeing the speed of play that a team like Pentwater can sustain was an eye-opener for her team.

“We only had three (players) out here ready for that tempo,” Powell said. “The rest of them, and the bench, are not ready for that speed. You warn them, you tell them, but until they see it for themselves, now they know.”

And that speed showed from the very beginning, when Pentwater started the match on a 4-0 run and never looked back on the way to a 12-point win.

It was more of the same to start the second set, which the Falcons again began with a run, this time 3-0. The Bobcats fought back to tie the score 5-5, but Pentwater put the set away from there, going on a 10-point run to take a 15-5 lead, and ending the set on a 20-5 run to take it 25-10.

Brethren came out swinging in the third, taking their first lead of the match on the first point, taking a 4-2 lead with the team’s only serving ace of the match by Mariah Pringle, and holding a 5-3 lead early.

With the score tied 8-8, Pentwater went on a 13-2 run from there, and ran out with the set and the match, 25-13.

Pringle had 3 of her team’s 10 kills. Brianna Pettinato had 2, and Danielle Buzzo, Kylah Fischer, Megan Macurio, Whitney Danks and Whitney Dean had one each.

Defensively, the Bobcats combined for 40 digs, led by Pringle’s 10 and Pettinato’s 9. Dean had 14 of Brethren’s 17 assists in the match.

Powell said that her younger players needed to be more aggressive in the attack, with only Pringle and Fischer looking to do any hitting.

“That’s two girls swinging, the rest are chipping, tipping and pushing the ball to the middle,” Powell said. “They’re not quick enough, or they don’t have the confidence. They’ll get there, but this is their first conference game ever.

“It looked like they were in quicksand.”

Conversely, the Bobcat back line may have been a bit too aggressive.

“We’re giving ourselves more chances than we ever have before,” Powell said. “But there were a lot of out balls, and we kept digging them. I’m glad they’re aggressive and are dialed in on getting that ball, but at the line, you stop. There were probably five or six points we could have had just by letting the ball go out.”

Next up for the Bobcats is a non-league home tri-match with Buckley and the Traverse City Homeschoolers on Thursday, Sept. 14.

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Posted by Scott Yoshonis

Scott is the sports editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3112 or syoshonis@pioneergroup.com.

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