First set not enough: Evart volleyball falls to Beal City at home

After losing a close first set, momentum fell away for the Wildcats

EVART—After a strong first set, the Evart Wildcats couldn't hang with Beal City on Tuesday night.

The evening may have been a different story for Evart if the first set had fallen its way, but once Beal City took that set, the air went out of the sails for the Wildcats. Evart would end up falling to Beal City 3-0 on Tuesday night, with set scores of 25-23, 25-16, 25-16.

"I mean, our first match was great. It was back and forth point for point," coach Amanda Brown said. "It was so much fun to watch. So perfectly played like it was really, really good. Our second match we had good moments, and sometimes we just struggled, and we ended both sets with the same score. So we didn't play to our fullest potential by any means."

The first set was the best for the Wildcats, going toe-to-toe with Beal City in a back and forth battle that saw Evart and Beal City tied at 20-20 prior to the first timeout. Beal City was able to edge ahead to win the set, and after that Evart couldn't bounce back. The Wildcats would go down early in both of the final two sets and were unable to recover.

"They passed the ball better and had kills when they needed it." Brown said. "I don't think they got any aces or anything like that, we passed well, just not well enough when we needed to be."

Kyrah Gray led the team in kills with five on the evening, she also scored five blocks and five digs. Brooklyn Decker had three kills, 14 digs and four blocks. Ally Theunick had 10 digs. Addy Gray had 25 sets and nine digs. Kate Gostlin had one ace.

The Wildcats will head to Reed City on Thursday to compete in a quad that will also feature McBain and Pine River. After that it will be on to districts.

"If we play like we played the first set tonight in districts, we're going to be just fine," Brown said. "We'll be competitive. We'll have a chance of winning stuff and people will be really surprised. So definitely the girls just need to believe in themselves."

McBain 3 Pine River 0

Pine River traveled to McBain to participate in the Play 4 Zay event on Tuesday. PR lost in three sets 25-13, 25-9, 25-16.

Alayna Nichols had eight assists and eight digs. Madison Smith added seven digs

"We came out serving aggressively, which has been a consistent thing for us this year," Bucks coach Jana Dennis said. "We were able to get them out of system at times and that helped us. However, we had way too many unforced errors. This got the best of us. Even though we did not perform the way we had hoped, it was still a successful night because we helped raise funds for a great cause."

Next event is a quad Thursday in Reed City.