JV Volleyball struggles to defeat their biggest competition this year

This talented group of athletes, unfortunately, could not pull through with a win after a hard-fought battle against Byron Center.

Last week, the girls had their first conference game to kick off the official start to the season. During warmups, the opposing team looked solid. On the other hand, the JV Rangers had an intimidation advantage: an energized, loud, and successful warmup. This warmup led the team to start the first set off strong, but then the energy declined, and mistakes piled onto each other.

During this first set, sophomore Kaitlyn Childers had to step in all the way around and perform phenomenally offensively. Sophomore Kinzi Tilton had perfect serve receives and brought lots of energy and communication onto the court. On top of being a team captain, Kinzi is one of the best serve receive passers people will ever lay their eyes on. On the other hand, Kaitlyn is a threat at the net. These two players showed leadership, accountability, and effort, even down the whole game. The result of the first set was extremely close, as the score was 20-25.

Kinzi Tilton commented on her performance after the game. “Kaitlyn, Ava, and I brought much to the court with our serve receive and defense. When the offense started making mistakes, we got in our heads then our defense went down. We tried to bring each other up but were all flustered.”

In the second set, the Rangers put up a bigger fight as each girl played smarter and harder and used effective communication. The morale of the team increased positively because of an attitude change. With all of these improvements, there was more hustle and determination. Unfortunately, they lost the second set by three points resulting in the final score of 22-25.

In the second set, sophomore Ella O’Connor was the MVP offensively as she was consistent, smart, and overcame challenges such as being blocked or hitting the net. Defensively, sophomore Coco Mehney was a brick wall as she blocked several hits from the opposing team. Another defensive player who popped off was sophomore Ava McDonald. Although she is not a Libero, she played like one. She had lots of digs and pursued every shanked ball. If there were a Ms. Hustle award, it would go to Ava.

Freshman Addy Quinn touched based on her own playing as well. “I played decently, but it wasn’t my best game. I wasn’t focused on the game since I was in my head, and it impacted the team.”

Along with that, one of her biggest aspirations is to see her team succeed. Addy said with great enthusiasm, “Next game, we will come in stronger mentally and smarter athletically. We need to work on not being intimated and playing our game.”

All of these hardworking players have a crucial role on this team. Even though they fell short, they learned how to accept a loss. These girls overcame adversity and are now prepared for the future games ahead. Difficult or easy, these girls will top their competition.

Their next game is this Thursday at Northview at 5 p.m.