For The Tribune
After Seymour and Brownstown Central split the first two sets in Tuesday’s volleyball match, the Owls gained momentum late in the third and fourth games for a 24-21, 12-25, 25-20, 25-20 win.
Owls coach Holly Birdsong said she thought her team used play at the net by Mikayla Fee and Mollie Borcherding to win the final two sets.
“Once the third and fourth games came we were able to use our middles a lot more tonight than we have been in other games, and that really helped us out,” Birdsong said.
“I feel like both Fee and Borcherding did a great job of going in strong tonight. Their middle blockers weren’t staying with it as well, so we could use them a lot. That is something we don’t get to do a lot in our games.”
A kill by Jessica Blevins gave the Owls a 3-1 lead in the third set, and Seymour stayed ahead the rest of the set. The Braves trailed 12-11 when the Owls went on a 5-1 run for a 17-12 lead, and the closest Brownstown could get after that was 19-16.
Clair Myers had a block for set point.
The fourth set was tied six times, the last at 13-13 before the Owls used a Brownstown serving error and kills by Blevins and Borcherding to move on top 16-13.
After a pair of Brownstown points, Emilee Pollmann, Macey Chase and Borcherding had back-to-back kills, and Chandler Clark had a tip for a 21-16 lead and that was too much for the Braves to overcome. Fee had a kill for match point.
“It was a good match,” Braves coach Jennifer Shade said. “We had four games, and all the games were close. Momentum changed several times throughout that match. It was just a good Jackson County rivalry game.”
The first set was tied nine times, the final time at 19-19, before the Owls outscored the Braves down the stretch for the win.
Set point came on an attacking error by the Braves.
“I think we came out really strong in the first game,” Birdsong said. “In the second game I think our passing went down a little bit, so we weren’t able to utilize our hitters. Once the third and fourth games came around we were able to pick up our passing again.”
The second set was tied at 5-5 before the Braves went on a 10-1 run to build a 16-6 lead, with Richayla Huff and Brooke Meyer both having two kills during the rally.
Between the first and second set Shade said, “We just made changes on things we saw happening and tried to adjust our defense and our blocking so that it was better to defend their strong points.
“Volleyball is a game of momentum, and once that switches anything can happen. We’ve got to learn to win ball games. You can’t get caught up with a team and make a couple of errors and put yourself two points behind, and we seem to have that trend. We’ve got to be able to go ahead of a team and stay ahead.”
Morgan Wehmiller topped the Braves (13-10) in attacking with 53 for 56 with 15 kills, while Danielle Meyer had 14 kills.
Pollmann topped the Owls (9-10) in attacks making 53 hits on 58 attempts 23 kills and Blevins was 29 of 32 with 10 kills.