2017-09-14 / Sports

St. Ignace Edges Cedarville in Five-set Thriller on First Day of School

By Erich T. Doerr


Cedarville’s Lily Freel (#11) hits the ball over the net while playing alongside her teammate Kylee Call (#12) during the second set of the Trojans matchup with St. Ignace Tuesday, September 5. The Saints’ Madison Olsen (#10) and Keshia Davis (#15) both watch the ball, ready to react as it comes over the net. Cedarville’s Lily Freel (#11) hits the ball over the net while playing alongside her teammate Kylee Call (#12) during the second set of the Trojans matchup with St. Ignace Tuesday, September 5. The Saints’ Madison Olsen (#10) and Keshia Davis (#15) both watch the ball, ready to react as it comes over the net. Tuesday, September 5, was the first day of school for both the St. Ignace Area Schools and the Les Cheneaux Community Schools and the two schools’ volleyball teams were immediately back in action against each other that night in Cedarville.

The Saints bested the Trojans in a five-set thriller with a comeback effort late in the match.

The game’s first set saw St. Ignace claim a 25-13 win, but Cedarville fought back to take the next two sets 25-19 and 25-21. The Saints rallied back from possible defeat to take the fourth set 25-15 and force the match into a decisive fifth set in which they took control early on the way to a 15- 5 victory.


The Cedarville Trojans varsity volleyball team lines up together for the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner” before their game Tuesday, September 5, against St. Ignace, as the Saints can be seen in the background lining up in similar fashion. The Cedarville players pictured here include (from left) Ashley Kasper (#26), Cheylynn Sims (#19), Eden Preston (#17), Kiina Sims (#14), Kylee Call (#12), Lily Freel (#11), Rachael Rye (#10), and Elysia Causley (#9). Cedarville player Alyssa Cloud (#15) is not pictured, as she was one of those who sang the anthem. The Cedarville Trojans varsity volleyball team lines up together for the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner” before their game Tuesday, September 5, against St. Ignace, as the Saints can be seen in the background lining up in similar fashion. The Cedarville players pictured here include (from left) Ashley Kasper (#26), Cheylynn Sims (#19), Eden Preston (#17), Kiina Sims (#14), Kylee Call (#12), Lily Freel (#11), Rachael Rye (#10), and Elysia Causley (#9). Cedarville player Alyssa Cloud (#15) is not pictured, as she was one of those who sang the anthem. St. Ignace was 2-0 following the win while Cedarville was 0-10 following a winless tournament appearance earlier in this still-young season.

“We started out slow tonight,” St. Ignace coach Deb Brandstrom said. “We were missing our serves tonight. My players talked more and got more confident as the night went on.”


St. Ignace’s Madison Olsen (#10) leaps up as she sends the ball back over the net during the third set of the matchup against the hosting Cedarville Trojans. Four of Madison’s teammates, including Annie Steel (#13) and Kaeli Nelson (#11), are ready for the ball’s return as Cedarville players (from left) Rachael Rye (#10), Kylee Call (#12), Cheylynn Sims (#19), Elysia Causley (#9), and Lily Freel (#11) are poised to defend. St. Ignace’s Madison Olsen (#10) leaps up as she sends the ball back over the net during the third set of the matchup against the hosting Cedarville Trojans. Four of Madison’s teammates, including Annie Steel (#13) and Kaeli Nelson (#11), are ready for the ball’s return as Cedarville players (from left) Rachael Rye (#10), Kylee Call (#12), Cheylynn Sims (#19), Elysia Causley (#9), and Lily Freel (#11) are poised to defend. “We’re a young team with a few things to work on, finishing being one of them,” Cedarville coach Marcie Fierek said. “Our serves were good and we communicated well but our coverage was slow.”

Both teams wore colored uniforms for the game, St. Ignace in black and Cedarville in green. The first set began with St. Ignace’s Erika Frazier serving as she and her Saints teammates opened a 5-0 lead.

A bit of back-and-forth play followed before St. Ignace added four points as Annie Steel served and another four while Audrey O’Rourke served as it built a 10-point lead. The Trojans launched a late charge with four points as Elysia Causley served but three more Saints’ points as Saylor Sorenson served helped seal a first-set win for St. Ignace.

The second set saw St. Ignace again take an initial 2-0 lead with Frazier serving, but Cedarville quickly fought back to score five points with Cheylynn Sims serving, two with Kylee Call serving, and three with Kiina Sims as server to take an early lead. The green team’s early charge was so intense, one moment saw the Trojans successfully keep the ball in play after it had ricocheted off the top of the gymnasium.

St. Ignace pulled back into the match with four points as Keshia Davis served, but Cedarville added three of its own with Causley serving to make the score 16-9. The Saints picked up three points while Frazier served again late in the set, but four more as Cheylynn Sims served gave Cedarville an edge that even three last-minute St. Ignace points with Davis serving couldn’t overcome as the Trojans won their first set of the night.

Cedarville’s momentum continued into the third set as the Trojans broke the early 1-1 tie with four points while Cheylynn Sims served, two with Call serving, and three as Kiina Sims served. The hosting Les Cheneaux squad further expanded its lead with five points as Lily Freel served and three more as Cheylynn Sims served again.

The Saints hung in contention with two-point serving performances from Steel and Davis before the team added three points each as O’Rourke and Tara Bunker served, pulling them within three points of Cedarville before a timeout broke up their late charge as the Trojans won their second set in a row.

The Saints were on the verge of defeat in the fourth set as both teams came out of the gate strong with an early 6-6 tie, St. Ignace’s Frazier and Sorenson and Cedarville’s Cheylynn Sims and Call each serving well while their teams had a pair of threepoint runs.

The Saints took an early edge as they scored four points while Steel served and then added three more during both the serving tenures of Davis and O’Rourke to lead by seven, 16-9, as a timeout was called. The Saints added another four points with Bunker serving as they pulled away en route to evening the match.

The Saints’ rallying momentum continued into the final set as they sealed their comeback victory with a pair of seven-point runs as Sorenson and Steel served. Cedarville had a pair of two-point runs with Freel and Call serving during the fifth set.

Mrs. Brandstrom said her Saints are working well together right now. She said the team’s serves and attacks were consistent Tuesday.

Saints Statistics: Erika Frazier, 18 serves, five aces; Keshia Davis, eight serves, four aces, five kills, four blocks; Madison Olsen, six kills, two blocks; Saylor Sorenson, 14 serves, three aces; Audrey O’Rourke, eight serves, three aces, seven kills.

Trojans Statistics: Kylee Call, three aces, 12 kills, nine digs, one block; Elysia Causley, four aces, nine kills, eight digs; Lily Freel, two aces, three kills, five digs; Alyssa Cloud, three kills, four digs; Rachael Rye, two kills, five digs; Kiina Sims, two aces, two digs; Cheylynn Sims, seven digs.

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