Bucks sweep past RangersPublished 10:42pm Tuesday, September 18, 2012
BUCHANAN — Despite being hit hard by graduation, the Buchanan volleyball team expects to win another Lakeland Conference title.
There are two reasons why the Bucks are aiming high.
The offensive skills of talented hitters Rachel Bonek and Dani Dale were once again on display Tuesday against Cassopolis as the Bucks beat the Rangers, 25-21, 25-18, 25-9.
Bonek finished with 14 kills, while Dale totaled 13 as the Bucks opened their league schedule with a win. Buchanan stands at 6-11 overall.
“They’re definitely are two go-to hitters,” said Buchanan coach Lisa Holok about Bonek and Dale. “Dani is a senior and a three-year varsity player and Rachel is a junior and a three-year varsity player so we depend on them and go to them.
“We still intend to win the conference. We knew coming out we weren’t going to be where we were where we left off last year. It’s a growing season for us. The seniors have done a nice job helping the young kids become comfortable. I think every day we become a little bit better at practice.”
An inexperienced Cassopolis squad was able to stay close with Buchanan in the first two games, but was unable to execute when the games got close. The Bucks finished the first game on a 4-1 run and a 6-1 run in game two helped the hosts take a 14-8 lead. The Rangers never got closer than four points the rest of the way.
“That’s still part of our growing process,” said first-year Cassopolis coach Ray Prestly about what prevented his team from winning games one and two. “We end up getting back on our heels instead of standing on our toes and attacking the ball. Our girls have to learn to push themselves through. I can push them so far. It’s really up to them to take that extra step and achieve that goal for themselves.”
Prestly, whose team fell to 0-1 in the league and 2-11 overall, was asked if the size and talent Bonek and Dale brought to the contest were a tough matchup for his team.
“No, right now we’re pretty much a young team,” Prestly said. “Even though I’m carrying eight seniors only three of the seniors were on the team last year. So, basically we’re in a rebuilding stage.
“To be honest with you, my girls played wonderful tonight. I asked my girls to eliminate the service errors for tonight’s match and I think we were under 2 percent for the night on serving errors.
“My expectations for the girls right now is learning how to work together as a team. There’s been a 100 percent turnaround since I’ve been here at Cassopolis. Right now, we’ve already exceeded the goals that I set forth. What we achieve from here out is profit. There’s a lot of talent on the team and they just have to learn to play a little bit more smarter.”
Buchanan, which trailed only once in the match at 5-4 in game two, finished game three on a 15-3 run. The Bucks lost five starters from last year’s team and have eight new players on the varsity this season.
“We’ve kind of been up and down this season so far,” Holok said. “In game one and two tonight we were like that. In game three we showed how good we can be.”
Buchanan d. Cassopolis 3-0
Kills: Rachel Bonek (B) 14, Dani Dale (B) 13, Alexis Meahl (B) 3, Jada Meahl (B) 3, Devan Hillyer (C) 4
Aces: Bonek (B) 3, Dale (B) 2, Tori Baker (C) 2, Logan Lawson (C) 2
Assists: Pachia Benson (B) 45, Baker (C) 5, Sheridan Curry (C) 5
Digs: Baylie Lee (B) 4, Bonek (B) 4, Tyeisa Fuller (C) 4