Coyote volleyball pulls away after tight first set against Chippewa Hills

After winning the first set 27-25, it was all Reed City

REMUS—An exciting first set win was the jet fuel Reed City needed to pull away from Chippewa Hills on Tuesday night. 

Down 15-12 and 24-22 at points in the first set, Reed City fought back and ultimately won 27-25. After pulling out a close first set, the Coyotes kicked into high gear to win 3-0 against Chippewa Hills 27-25, 25-9, 25-14. 

Head coach Don Patterson was happy with the team's performance after the slow start. 

“I thought we played really hard. We started a little slow with our serves, but we really picked it up,” Patterson said. “The kids did a good job working hard. A little different lineup we had to play with today, but they still stepped up and played really hard." 

Molly Bowman kickstarted the Coyotes in the second set. As the leadoff server, she would put the Coyotes up 8-0 before giving up a point. This helped push the Coyotes to a 25-9 second set victory. Bowman explained how a change in strategy led to the run-on points. 

“Coach noticed in the first set that there was a spot to aim for so then I just aimed in between the two girls so that way it would mix it up and not just stay in the same spot every time.” Bowman said. 

Bowman would finish the evening leading the team with nine aces to go along with four kills and 11 digs. 

Other scoring leaders for Reed City was Christina Malackanich, who led the team with 10 kills and 12 digs. Senior Rachael Van Syckle led the team with 23 assists. 

“We just need to quicken the offense a little bit. We started to play a lot better defense, taking a lot more balls with our hands and getting it into our setters' hands. We do that and it’s starting to come together.” 

On the Chippewa Hills side, the Warriors remained winless. Losing momentum after the 27-25 first set defeat, the Warriors scored 23 points the rest of the evening. Head coach Hali Williams talked about the team's struggles. 

“Focus wasn't here at all. As soon as we started to get down, we just lost all sense of regular volleyball skills,” Williams said. “I continually break them down at practice and when they come up to a game and they get back into their bad habits and then we do the same over and over and over. It's taken a lot to get their confidence, to get their skill, but focus was not here.” 

She further explained what needs to be done to overcome the team’s current issues. 

“We just try to have the conversation get them confident continuing to work on skills and hope at some point that our skills can outweigh our focus,” Williams said. 

Up next for Chippewa Hills is an away match against Big Rapids at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20. Reed City will take on Lakeview at home at 7 p.m.that same evening.