REED CITY — The plays went Reed City’s way at the key times on Tuesday.

The Coyotes scored a 3-1 volleyball victory against Big Rapids in the Central State Activities Association opener for both teams on Tuesday.

Reed City took the first game 25-18, lost the second 27-25 and won the next two 25-23, 25-23.

“We were a little sluggish I thought,” said Reed City coach Don Patterson. “Until school gets in, sometimes it’s hard for the kids to get into a routine. They dug deep when we had to. Big Rapids served tough. Overall, it was a pretty good night.”

The hosts stormed out to a 16-8 lead in the first game and won on a kill by Michaela Reed.

The Cardinals had a 14-7 lead in the second game but later on trailed 18-17 on a kill by Reed. The Cardinals rallied back and won on an out-of-bounds hit by the Coyotes for the two-point win.

After winning the third game, the Coyotes battled the Cardinals down to the wire again. A Kalee Hensel ace gave Reed City a 22-20 lead. Heather Tacey served an ace for a 24-22 RC advantage. Big Rapids couldn’t return the ball, which resulted in match point for the Coyotes.

“We have played really tough in two tournaments better than we expected with a lot of energy and a lot of consistency,” said Big Rapids coach Chris Jensen. “We didn’t have that tonight.”

The Coyotes have been playing without senior standout Sami Michell, who sustained an anterior cruciate ligament related knee injury shortly before the season started. She is slated to have surgery next month and will miss the volleyball season.

“That’s a big loss for us,” Patterson said. “She was a big part of our plans. Now it’s gone. We have to make adjustments and go from there.”

Reed City was led by Jacolyn Mullins with five aces and eight kills, Tacey with five aces and three kills, Alaina Woodard with six kills and Brittani Yarger with three aces.

“Jacolyn stepped up and served big when we needed her to,” Patterson said. “Heather served well all night long.”

Also for the hosts, Emma Lockhart added two aces and three kills, Reed contributed eight kills while Westhoff had three and Kayla Davis one. Lockhart and Hensel had 30 and 26 digs. Tacey added 21 assists.

“We started talking. When we talk we do really well,” Reed said. “If we don’t talk, we fall downhill. But tonight, we did well.”

For the Cardinals, Kasey Woodworth delivered 14 assists and, along with Cara Jensen, had two aces. Francesca Ravaldini and Katie Rae led in passing percentages at 83 each. Braeden Gosma had four blocks while Katie Hickson and Jensen had six digs apiece. Hixson added six kills while Gosman and Ravaldini had five apiece.

“We showed a lot of character coming back in that second game for a win after we played a little flat,” Jensen said. “We dug the ball and passed well.”

Big Rapids is 5-6 overall. Reed City improves to 7-4.

Next Wednesday, Big Rapids is home against Hesperia.

Reed City is at Morley Stanwood next Wednesday.