Bobcats improve, but fall to powerful Pentwater

Brethren’s Whitney Danks (13) spikes the ball as libero Eleni Guenther (26) looks on, during the Bobcats’ 3-set loss to Pentwater Thursday night. (Kyle Kotecki/News Advocate)

Brethren’s Whitney Danks (13) spikes the ball as libero Eleni Guenther (26) looks on, during the Bobcats’ 3-set loss to Pentwater Thursday night. (Kyle Kotecki/News Advocate)

BRETHREN — Brethren volleyball hosted Pentwater Thursday in a West Michigan D League matchup and fell in three sets by scores of 21-25, 23-25 and 14-25.

While not satisfied with the end result, Brethren head coach Jody Powell was pleased with how the team competed against a talented Pentwater team.

“That’s probably the best team we’re going to play in our conference,” Powell said. “If we can keep doing that and keep building like this every step of the way, by the time they get ready for their tournament they should be ready to play good, long volleys.”

Brethren started the first set on a tear, taking the lead from the start and building up a 21-13 advantage. The Falcons then closed the set with 12 unanswered points to secure the win.

“They (the Bobcats) were enjoying the game and trusting each other,” Powell said. “They were playing with precision. They were moving together well. They were talking to each other. The passing was good. If their passing is good we have options. If the passing’s not good we’re all scrambling. As soon as that passing broke down everything went with it.”

Pentwater started the second set as they finished the first and took a 15-8 advantage. After a side out, Brethren’s Megan Cordes held serve long enough to give the Bobcats a one-point lead.

The two teams battled back and forth the rest of the way but the Falcons scored the final two points of the set to take the win.

Cordes tallied four kills, six aces, 12 assists and eight digs on the night. Kylah Fischer added five kills, four aces and four digs in her first game since being moved the middle and Whitney Danks added four kills, six digs and two blocks.

“It was a lot of work,” said Brethren’s Eleni Guenther. “It was hard. I think we know what we need to improve on from that game, but it was definitely better from how we’ve been playing. We definitely need to improve on our serve receive and really passing the ball nice to our setter and giving her a good ball.”

Pentwater jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the final set. The Bobcats went on a run to pull within 6-9 but the Falcons were able to maintain an advantage the rest of the way.

“We lost the receiving game tonight,” Powell said. “We were matched pretty evenly during play. We were matched up very evenly during serving. They received better than we did tonight. It’s always about that passing and serving game and tonight we had our serves down but we gave too many runs.”

Freshman Halle Richardson and sophomore Kaia Richardson started the game for the Bobcats as Powell tries to find a lineup that will best utilize the players’ skills.

“That’s a lot of pressure to put on a sophomore and a freshmen with Kaia and Halle Richardson, but I think they balanced us out on the outside since we moved them in,” Powell said. “We also put Summer (Young) over to the right, which is where she was all last year.

“I’m trying to create comfort,” Powell continued. “They have not been comfortable out there. Everybody seemed agitated or edgy. The technique was good but they did not look at all lax. Tonight we saw a little bit more comfort.”

 The Bobcats next see action when they host Mason County Eastern in another WMDL showdown Tuesday at 7 p.m.

“We’re going to try and work on picking up the communication,” Powell said. “It was getting a little bit quiet in between and then they get loud again. Then they get a little quiet. Be loud the entire game and then get their receiving down and I think they’re ready.”

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