NON-LEAGUE VOLLEYBALL … Corinne Cape tries to finish off a point for the Bulldogs. Cape totaled 21 kills in the match for Edgerton. (PHOTOS BY RICH HARDING / THE VILLAGE REPORTER)
By: Daniel Cooley
EDGERTON (August 29, 2023) – The Edgerton Bulldogs improved to 5-0 with a win over Stryker, but the win was far from easy.
Stryker won the first set, 25-23, leaving Edgerton to come back and win three consecutive hard-fought sets, 25-18, 25-20 and 25-19.
Stryker dropped to 1-4 with the loss, but Edgerton coach Krista Pahl felt like they were a much better team than their record indicated.
“I was very impressed with Stryker,” Pahl said. “They hustled and did not let the ball hit the floor.”
After Edgerton won the next two games, the fourth set was close throughout, featuring seven ties and four lead changes.
After the game was tied at 13-13, Edgerton went on an 8-3 run to create a 21-16 lead, with the final two points of the run coming on a kill from Olivia Farnham and a Stryker hitting error.
Stryker closed the gap to 21-18 after an Edgerton hitting error and an Allie Ruffer kill. But Edgerton finished the game on a 4-1 run.
A Stryker hitting error and a kill from Corinne Cape gave Edgerton a 23-18 lead. A kill from Stryker’s Abigail Oberlin cut the lead to 23-19.
But Edgerton finished off the win with a Cape kill and a Stryker hitting error, for the 25-19 win in game four. Cape led Edgerton with 21 kills.
“When Stryker cut the lead to four, we were all getting tired, but I knew we’d come through and win,” Cape said.
“We’re a close-knit group and we really play well together. Plus, (setter)Ava Swank had some really nice sets for me. When she does that, I make sure I put them down.”
In the first game, Stryker rallied from a 15-8 deficit, with a 12-4 run to take a 20-19 lead on a kill from Aubrey Clemens.
After a service error tied the game at 20-20, Stryker took a 23-20 lead on two Edgerton spike attempts that went out of bounds and a block from Emmalee Fulk.
Edgerton closed the gap to 24-23 on a kill from Kaytlann Timbrook, but an Edgerton spike attempt that sailed out of bounds gave Stryker the 25-23 win in game one.
In game two, Edgerton built a 22-14 lead after a Cape kill. Stryker then narrowed the gap to 22-17 after kills from Reiss Creighton, Fulk and Clemens.
But two straight Edgerton kills, the latter by Cape, brought Edgerton to game point, at 24-17. A kill by Clemens cut the lead to 24-18, but a Stryker kill attempt went out of bounds, giving Edgerton a 25-18 win, to even things at one game apiece.
In game three, Edgerton jumped out to an 18-10 lead, thanks to a 5-0 run, including a Farnham kill and an Ella Miler service ace.
Stryker then fought back with a 10-4 run, cutting the Edgerton lead to 22-20, after a Fulk kill. But Edgerton finished off a 25-20 win in game three with three straight points off a Stryker service error and two service aces from Edgerton’s Casey Everetts.
“I don’t worry about where the kills are going to come from, because I have a team full of good hitters and good passers from the back row, who pass the ball very well and they all gel well as a team,” Pahl said.
As a case in point, along with Cape’s 21 kills, four other Edgerton hitters had at least four kills. Farnham finished with 10 kills and three blocks, Timbrook garnered eight kills, Miler finished with six kills and Everetts had four kills.
For Stryker, Clemens had 14 kills, Fulk had 10 kills and three blocks, Laura Leupp had 10 kills and Oberlin finished with seven kills and 30 digs.
Edgerton also won the JV game, 27-25 and 25-12.
Dan can be reached at email@example.com