Coyotes improve to 3-1 in CSAA

REED CITY — It’s games like Wednesday’s 3-0 victory over Newaygo that get Reed City volleyball coach Don Patterson excited about his team.

The Coyotes put together a solid all-around game as they beat the Lions in sets of 25-13, 25-22 and 25-12 to improve to 3-1 in Central State Activities Association play.

While coming out with a victory is always nice, Patterson said it was the all-around effort from his whole team Wednesday that showed him the Coyotes will be a team to watch as the CSAA season slowly starts dwindling down.

“I think we’re getting to a point in the season where we’re starting to put things together,” he said. “Our defense is starting to play better. We’re looking to add some plays that we haven’t been running a lot of.

“We served well after we got over some jitters in the first game,” he continued. “The girls did a nice job splitting the ball up and getting everyone involved. I’m pretty happy with the way we played.”

Patterson said when the entire team gets involved, it makes everything better on the court.

“It’s fun to coach and it’s fun to play when we’re playing at a high level like that,” he said. “When everybody is involved and everybody knows their role and what they’re supposed to do, that’s the way the game is meant to be played.”

The Coyotes built up an 11-8 lead in the first set before going on a 14-5 scoring run to close out the set for the 25-13 victory.

After building a 17-11 advantage in the second set, the Coyotes allowed the Lions to go on a 7-3 run to trim the Reed City lead to 20-18. The Coyotes battled back to outscore the Lions 5-4 to take the 25-22 set victory.

Reed City took the momentum of winning the second set to race out to a 20-9 lead in the third set before eventually getting the 25-12 set victory to close out the Lions.

Heather Tacey led the Coyotes with four aces, 34 assists a kill and a block while Jacolyn Mullins tallied two aces, 18 kills and 20 digs. Kayla Davis had an ace, a kill and nine digs, Natalie Westhoff scored three kills and four digs and Alaina Woodard recorded an ace, a block, two digs and five kills.

Patterson said he was particularly pleased with the defensive work he saw from Woodard and Michaela Reed at the net on Wednesday.

“I thought our blocking was strong again,” he said. “Michaela and Alaina did a tremendous job in the middle blocking. That’s not easy work there.”

Sitting at 3-1 in the CSAA, Patterson said he knows things won’t get any easier going forward as the Coyotes try to make their case to be CSAA champions at season’s end.

“On any given night, pretty much any team can have its way it seems like,” he said. “You have to come prepared every night. You can’t take an off night. That’s why we build our schedule around playing bigger Class A schools and a lot of the tougher Class B schools on the weekend to prepare for these big weekday games so we can play the way we want to play.”

Reed City is at Lakeview Wednesday.