Varsity volleyball drops tough game to the defending state champion Grand Rapids Christian

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Zoe Lipke , Sports Reporter

The varsity volleyball team took on the back-to-back state champions in an OK White showdown: the Grand Rapids Christian Eagles. After a back-and-forth three sets, the Rangers eventually fell to the Eagles three sets to none.

The Rangers started the game off strong with senior Morghan Tilton who safely secured the first point of the game, allowing the Rangers to take control from the get-go. As the set drew on, the Eagles began to pull away, creating the biggest deficit of the first set 15-10. Despite this, the Rangers did not falter and with the help of senior Julia Bouma’s copious digs, they were able to crawl back to a tie at 16-16. From there, the game went back and forth until the Eagles eventually came out on top in the first set with a score of 25-20.

After the loss in the first set, the Rangers came out firing in all areas and were able to secure the first few points of the second set, giving them an early lead. This was large in part to freshman Avery Weslow, who came out with a beautiful ace to start the second. Once again, the Rangers and Eagles were battling for a comfortable lead; however, neither team could seem to grasp one until the very end when the Eagles pulled ahead, winning 25-21.

As the Rangers headed into the third set, they needed a win in order to ensure the continuation of the game, but the Eagles were the team this time that came out firing. The Eagles took a quick 4-0 lead, forcing a Ranger timeout. The Eagles continued on with the reign and eventually grew their lead to the greatest of the game: 17-8. The Rangers were unable to come back and fell to the Eagles in the last set with a score of 25-16.

Julia and Morghan both had phenomenal performances last night on the offensive and defensive side of the game. The two went on to combine for 19 digs, 15 points, and a few attacks, which were huge in the Rangers’ fight throughout the night. Avery also had a stellar game with 14 points, eight attacks, and four digs during the entirety of the game. The duo of sophomore Sarah Dunn and junior Sophie Shields was dominating the offensive side of the game and went on to have a combined 14 points and 32 clean attacks.

After last night’s tough loss, the Rangers are looking for a better outcome against their next competitor: the Byron Center Bulldogs. The game will be next Thursday, October 1, and will be played on the Rangers’ home court at 6:00 pm. The varsity volleyball team currently sits with a record of 4-2 and are looking to extend that to 5-2 in next week’s game.