Warriors dig out of hole in win over Coyotes

ON THE MOVE: Chippewa Hills' Olivia Wolfe (right) goes up for the block on an attack of Reed City's Natalie Westhoff during Wednesday's contest. (Herald Review photo/Bob Allan)
ON THE MOVE: Chippewa Hills’ Olivia Wolfe (right) goes up for the block on an attack of Reed City’s Natalie Westhoff during Wednesday’s contest. (Herald Review photo/Bob Allan)

REMUS — The Chippewa Hills volleyball team did a little team bonding Saturday.

The Warriors went to Finch Fieldhouse at Central Michigan University and took part in numerous activities — including having to climb a 12-foot wall without the aide of ropes or places to put your feet.

It was a chance for the players have to rely on each other and trust each other — the same attributes needed on a volleyball court.

Little did Chippewa Hills know, that team-bonding event would pay dividends Wednesday night against Reed City.

The Warriors dropped the first two games, only to rally to take the last three to post a 17-25, 13-25, 25-14, 25-22, 15-10 victory over the Coyotes to remain perfect in the Central State Activities Association with a 6-0 record.

Reed City is now 4-2 in the league.

The 12-foot wall might have been the highlight of the team-bonding day, according to Olivia Wolfe. The junior said most of the players left with bumps and bruises, not from falling, but trying to lift and carry their teammates.

At every turn of Wednesday’s match, when times were tough, Wolfe said they kept referring to that day.

“After the first two games, we said that we dug a 12-foot hole, but we know how to get out of it,” Wolfe said after finishing with eight blocks on the night.

Chippewa Hills coach Abby Snyder made sure to bring Saturday up at every timeout, just a reminder what the players learned.

“It was all about pushing each other and helping each other reach the next step,” Snyder said. “Several girls had big breakthroughs. They found things in themselves they didn’t know they had.”

Reed City was able to roll to victories in the first two steps behind strong serving and hitting. The Coyotes led 9-2 in the first game and 17-6 in the second game before posting the win.

But things started to change in the third game for Reed City and stayed that way through the end of the match.

“Volleyball is such a game of momentum that when it goes, it can go quickly and nobody can tell you why it happens,” Reed City coach Don Patterson said. “This match sort of tells you the story of our season; we played well in the first two games, but then we had serving errors in hitting errors in games three and four. When it comes to game five, anything can happen. A break here or there and we win.”

The Coyotes were paced by Heather Tacey with 33 assists, 20 digs and nine aces. Emma Lockhart added 26 digs and seven kills, while Jacolyn Mullins tallied 25 digs and 16 kills.

Kalee Hensel recorded 25 digs.

Even though Chippewa Hills was down two games, Wolfe said the girls never dropped their heads.

“We are really good about encouraging each other and to say we pick it up,” she said. “We might have had a big head in the beginning, but coach brought our heads down and get our game back.”

Hali Earl led the defensive effort with 25 digs, while Hannah Guy added 18 kills.

The victory also keeps the Warriors on top of the league standings at 6-0. If Chippewa Hills would have lost, there would have been a four-way tie for the league standings.

Snyder was not afraid to tell her team of that fact at the beginning of the day.

“I did because the girls play well under pressure and raise the bar even more,” Snyder said.

Chippewa Hills is in action Saturday when it travels to the St. Johns tournament, while the Coyotes will travel to Hesperia on Wednesday.

Visit the photo gallery to see more photos from this match.