In Johannesburg-Lewiston on Sept. 19, the varsity volleyball team took on the Cardinals in a marathon match that lasted five games. Joburg competed hard against the Lady Dawgs, keeping them focused, on their toes, and determined to take the win home.
The first game started off a little rocky as the team could not find a rhythm. The game was close, as the girls would go back and forth, looking for the holes in each other’s defense. Johannesburg pulled away in the last few serves, leaving the Bulldogs with a 25-21 loss.
The second game was better than the first one, because the girls felt more warmed up and had the first game loss as motivation to keep them going. Senior Makayla Henckel was one of the select few who was getting their hits down. Every time she went up for a hit, she would slam down any gap the opponents had open. Henckel led the team with 19 kills. She was really getting off her feet. She was a great attribute to the second game, with the Bulldogs getting the 25-20 win.
Game three was about to start when the girls got a pep talk from coach Ridley about playing their game and not playing down to the other team’s level. With snarky comments being made from the other team and their coach, our girls decided to rise above it and play to the best of their ability. This was a challenge but the girls kept their heads high and their intensity higher. The score was 13-24 and the girls were ready to battle. They fought for as long as they could but came up short seven points, although the girls had a great run of five points in a row. The Bulldogs ended up with a few missed serves and the net violations which cost the girls the third game, 25-18.
By the time game four started the girls were tired, but not ready to give up. The Lady Dawgs knew they had to take this next win in order to continue to take the over all victory in game five. With sophomore Shaylee Micheal up on the net ready to block and hit anything in her way, a great defense in the back row ready to hit the floor, and sophomore setter Amber Passino ready to assist, they knew they had a strong chance. With smart moves at the net and good passes, Amber dealt out 29 assists and Shaylee to earned five kills and two blocks. The Bulldogs took the fourth game, 25-17.
So it was all up to game five. It was a race to fifteen, and both teams wanted it badly. With miscalls and inexperienced line judges, the bulldogs struggled to get the points they deserved. A mix up towards the end of the game caused a ten minute delay. Both coaches, scorers, and the referee were trying to determine who had the serve after many substitutions. The game continued to go back and forth until the final points of the game where the Bulldogs pulled away with a 16-14 victory.