Forest Area took a long ride to the Dawg house on Oct. 17 to match up against a hungry Bulldog squad. Going into this the girls knew they had some stiff competition. While talking with the St. Mary coach Pat Schultz at Saturday’s Bulldog Invitational, he said that he would be shocked if our girls couldn’t take down the Warriors. Unfortunately, our girls didn’t have it in them to stick it out for five games.
Game one started off slow, as usual. The team was doing well, but not up to their level. They couldn’t block Forest Area’s outside hitter and that was getting to them. They needed to figure out a way to cover the line and the cross court at the same time. The Warrior’s outside hitter could hit anywhere. This resulted in a first game loss for the Bulldogs with a score of 25-19.
The girls wanted game two, but it was not enough. They knew that they couldn’t let Forest Area win and take the conference championship. The girls fell behind but had a good run at the end. They fell short once again in the game of catch up with a score of 25-22. They came close, but could not cover all the spots they needed to. If more blocks were put up, maybe the night would have gone differently.
The girls were tired heading into game three but they knew they were up for going into five games. They wanted to swipe this game away and see where it went from there. Forest Area’s energy was just more intense, and the Bulldogs were not communicating well. The night ended with three straight losses for the Bulldogs with a third game loss of 25-19. The team had not been shut out in a match since they last played Onaway in the beginning of the season. This was an awakener for the girls as they knew they had to redeem themselves heading into the final few mathes on the season.
The girls kept up a good fight. It would be interesting to see these two teams go head to head again when they now know what they are up against. Sophomore Shaylee Micheal had two kills and five digs. Senior Jenny Shank had seven digs, sophomore Amber Passino had 33 assists, two aces, one block, and eight digs, senior Makayla Henckel had seven kills, one ace, and seventeen digs, junior Tyra Fletcher had three kills and fourteen digs and senior Madison Milner had thirteen kills and twelve digs.
Losing to Forest Area earned the Warriors first place in the Ski Valley Conference and Inland Lakes tied with the Onaway Cardinals for second.
It is not what the team wanted to happen but it was definitely an eye opener. Not everything they want will just be given so they are going to go into their tournament in Boyne City on Saturday, with their heads high and intensity higher. Hopefully, the girls will come home with a good experience and an even better title.