2017-11-02 / Sports

St. Ignace Saints Girls Top Cedarville Trojans in Back and Forth Volleyball Battle

By Erich T. Doerr


The St. Ignace volleyball team marked its final regular home game of the season Thursday, October 26, with a special pre-game “Parents Night” celebration during which all of the players were introduced and entered the gym along with their parents. Here everyone is pictured together during the ceremony including (from left) Kaeli Nelson (#11) and her mother Rebeckah Zaragoza, Madison Olsen (#10) and her parents Jon and Connie Olsen, Audrey O’Rourke (#8) and her parents Clyde and Beth O’Rourke, Tara Bunker (#2) and her parents Jeff and Kathleen Bunker, Kiara Bishop (#6) and her mother Shirley Musick, Keshia Davis (#15) and her mother Jessica Davis, Erika Frazier (#3) and her parents Glenn and Carolee Frazier, Linnie Gustafson (#4) and her parents Don and Sherrie Gustafson, Aly Sayles (#12) and her parents Jennifer and Lawrence Sayles, and Annie Steel (#13) and her parents Melissa and Paul Holle. The St. Ignace volleyball team marked its final regular home game of the season Thursday, October 26, with a special pre-game “Parents Night” celebration during which all of the players were introduced and entered the gym along with their parents. Here everyone is pictured together during the ceremony including (from left) Kaeli Nelson (#11) and her mother Rebeckah Zaragoza, Madison Olsen (#10) and her parents Jon and Connie Olsen, Audrey O’Rourke (#8) and her parents Clyde and Beth O’Rourke, Tara Bunker (#2) and her parents Jeff and Kathleen Bunker, Kiara Bishop (#6) and her mother Shirley Musick, Keshia Davis (#15) and her mother Jessica Davis, Erika Frazier (#3) and her parents Glenn and Carolee Frazier, Linnie Gustafson (#4) and her parents Don and Sherrie Gustafson, Aly Sayles (#12) and her parents Jennifer and Lawrence Sayles, and Annie Steel (#13) and her parents Melissa and Paul Holle. A single glance at the results of the Thursday, October 26, St. Ignace versus Cedarville volleyball game would show that the Saints won at home in three sets with scores of 25- 21, 25-13, and 25-20, but it wouldn’t tell the whole story of the matchup. The game was a back-and-forth battle with several volleys going over the net multiple times before either team was able to finally score on their opponent. The victory was the Saints’ second in a row after they also defeated the DeTour Raiders one night earlier.

“My team played well tonight,” St. Ignace Coach Deb Brandstrom said. “Our players were working well together and communicating better.”

Mrs. Brandstrom praised her team’s hitting Thursday, noting that Linnie Gustafson and Keshia Davis both performed well in that area. She also noted that Erika Frazier did a great job getting the ball over to her teammates.

“We were playing very well,” St. Ignace player Audrey O’Rourke said. “Our hitting was better tonight.”

Cedarville Coach Marcie Fierek said the game was a fun one that showed the Trojans’ recent improvement. Thursday’s matchup marked her return to the sideline following the birth of her daughter Marlie a few days earlier. Assistant Coaches Heather Keeler and Ellie Barr prepared the Cedarville team well for the Thursday’s game in her absence.

“Our girls showed some real intensity tonight,” Mrs. Fierek said. “I’m pleased with how we played.”

“We played good overall out there,” Cedarville player Elysia Causley added. “Our serving is improving and we communicated well.”

Thursday night’s game was the last regular home game of the season for the Saints who held a “Parents Night” celebration before the action began. Each player of the varsity team was introduced alongside their parents, all walking out onto the gym floor side by side with the players while holding yellow flowers.

The first set began with the teams each trading a point before the Saints recorded three points as Aly Sayles served. Neither team was able to build much momentum early, with the Saints holding a four-point lead briefly after scoring three points while Tara Bunker served. Cedarville countered with three points as Kiina Sims served and another three while Cassidy Barr served to tie the score at 14. The two teams tied again at 21 before St. Ignace scored the last four points it needed to win as Frazier served.

The Saints’ momentum carried over into the second set as three points earned while Gustafson served helped the team open up a 6- 3 lead early on. St. Ignace scored three more points while O’Rourke served. The Saints blew the game open with 10 unanswered points as Frazier served, propelling them to a 12-point win in the set.

The third set began with the Trojans scoring four unanswered points with Kiina Sims serving. St. Ignace countered with four points as Gustafson served, then scored four more with Sayles serving to tie the game at 9. The Saints pulled ahead with six points while Frazier served and another three while Gustafson served again. The Trojans added four points late while Rachel Rye served late in the game, but did not regain the lead before St. Ignace scored the final points it needed for the win.

The Saints won both of their matchups with Cedarville this season, having previously bested the Trojans in five sets on the road September 5. Thursday’s game was preceded by a junior varsity game where the younger Saints squad also defeated the Trojans in three sets.

Saints Statistics: Erika Frazier, 24 serves, three aces, 24 assists, three digs; Linnie Gustafson, 12 serves, one ace, eight kills, two blocks; Keshia Davis, six serves, eight kills; Aly Sayles, five serves, two kills; Kiara Bishop, six serves, one kill; Tara Bunker, three serves, 10 digs; Annie Steel, three serves, one kill, two digs; Madison Olsen, three kills; Audrey O’Rourke, four serves, three digs; Kaeli Nelson, one serve, two digs.

Trojans Statistics: Cassidy Barr, three aces, two kills, six digs; Elysia Causley, two aces, eight kills, six digs, one block; Kylee Call, one ace, six kills, five digs, two blocks; Kiina Sims, three aces, two kills, nine digs; Rachael Rye, one ace, one kill, three digs; Ashley Kasper, one ace, two digs; Alyssa Cloud, one ace, one dig.

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