Bobcats down MCE in 4 sets, 1st win of season

Brethren libero Megan Cordes dives for the dig during the Bobcats’ 4-set win over Mason County Eastern Tuesday night. (Kyle Kotecki/News Advocate)

Brethren libero Megan Cordes dives for the dig during the Bobcats’ 4-set win over Mason County Eastern Tuesday night. (Kyle Kotecki/News Advocate)

BRETHREN — Brethren volleyball recorded its first win of the season in its home match against West Michigan D League foe Mason County Eastern Tuesday. The Bobcats won in four sets by scores of 25-17, 25-14, 24-26 and 25-11.

“Serving was the key tonight,” said Brethren head coach Jody Powell. “… We had really good communication and then we had breakdowns in communications. But we had more really good than bad for communication. The serving game was where we won tonight.”

The Cardinals played Brethren to an 8-8 tie before a pair of Meggan Macurio aces helped the Bobcats start to pull away. Macurio closed out the set with three consecutive aces to secure the victory.

“Honestly I was pretty pleased with our serving game,” Powell said. “Some beautiful balls going on there. Like I said with the communication, I would like to see more swings, but I’m not going to take away something that they’ve been working very hard at because they haven’t had a positive serving run. They’ve been negative in percentages in serving all season.

“So now they’ve got positives in serving, positive points in the hitting and passing was still a little shaky but with (Megan) Cordes back there, good communication,” Powell continued. “She does run a good back court. She talks a lot for us.”

Brethren never trailed in the second set, and a pair of Hallie Richardson aces late put Brethren up 23-14 before Kylah Fischer secured the set with a serve that Mason County Eastern was unable to return.

Fischer led the Bobcats with eight aces, four kills, three digs and a block. Macurio added five aces, three kills and two digs while Cordes tallied three aces, one kill, three assists and nine digs.

After Brethren built an 18-10 advantage in the third set, the Cardinals climbed back to tie things up at 21-21. MCE took the lead until a Fischer ace followed by a Macurio kill evened things up at 24-24, but the Cardinals scored the next two points to take the set.

Powell believes the Bobcats’ strong serving and solid hitting performance is something upon which the team can build moving forward.

“They needed the win for confidence, but they needed to do those things,” Powell said. “The serving and the positive hitting was a huge goal for them. Regardless of score, regardless of how many sets, that was their goal for (Tuesday): To serve better and hit better. And they did that, so I’m pretty happy with that. I think they should be proud of it.”

The Bobcats held the lead throughout the entirety of the final frame. Charlee Schaefer capped off the night with a spike over the net to give Brethren the win.

“We started off really slow,” Cordes said. “It was really quiet. But we picked up our game a little bit out there in the fourth set after we got a beating — we didn’t really go for that well. It was like I said, slow start, still a slow finish but it’s a win for us which is going to really help us get motivated and really help us get our confidence after having a couple rough games.”

The Bobcats next see action when they host Big Rapids Crossroads Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

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