22 – 25, 21 – 25, 25 – 16
Last night Whitmore Lake hosted Britton-Deerfield looking for their first league win. After a serve out rotation by Emily Schemer and three more points by Kiley Staples in the first set, Whitmore Lake stood on top 10 – 8 against the Patriots from Britton-Deerfield. Whitmore Lake continued to hold a slim lead until B-D finally tied the score at 17. The Patriots took the lead at a serve later, but Whitmore Lake came back and tied it back up at 22. That was the end of the Trojan scoring though and the Patriots took the hard fought first set 25 – 22. Although Whitmore Lake lost the set, they were in good position as the girls were getting to the ball but were hitting it just out of bounds on several plays. Cleaning that up and serving a little better in the second set would make the second set well within their reach. Although the girls were hitting the ball in bounds, the serving took a nose dive and the Trojans found themselves down by six after B-D strung together a serve out rotation. Whitmore Lake tried to dig themselves out of the hole, but it was too deep and B-D won the second set 25 – 21. With the match already under the Patriot’s belt, Whitmore Lake set a couple of goals for the final set: to win the last set and to win by more than eight points in order to score more total points than Britton-Deerfield. After the first four rotations, it looked like those goals were not going to be met with Britton-Deerfield in the lead at 8 – 4. Soon though, Leila Mingori rallied the troops around her serve with a serve out rotation, then Alex Waldecker followed suit with another serve out rotation. Suddenly the Trojans had a big lead at 14 – 8. Whitmore Lake kept the hammer down and with the score at 23 – 16, Mingori stepped to the serving line again and pounded in the last two points for a final set win, 25 – 16, while also reaching their second goal of scoring more total points than the Patriots. The girls continue to show vast improvement with everyone now running after the ball and making better passes. They are looking like they are having some fun on the court too. The loss drops Whitmore Lake’s record to 1 – 7 (0 – 5 TCC).
25 – 21, 21 – 25, 25 – 22
Going for three in a row, Whitmore Lake faced Britton-Deerfield in a Tri-county Conference matchup. After a slow start, Whitmore Lake found themselves down 9 – 5, but the serve of Heather Davis would turn things around. Whitmore Lake took the lead and with four more big points by Katrina Kautz, Whitmore Lake built up a six point cushion at 20 – 14. The Trojans needed all of that cushion as the Patriots ace server was up next. She served four in a row before Whitmore Lake could stop her. Adriana Canter put the Trojans knocking at the door with a score of 23 – 19 before Britton-Deerfield got the side out point. The Trojan defense got the ball right back with a side out of their own, to put Whitmore Lake in the barn at game point. The next Trojan serve faltered giving the Patriots one more chance. Whitmore Lake held tough though and won the set 25 – 21. In the second set, Whitmore Lake scored the first two points off an Annika Taylor serve, but this time Britton-Deerfield put their ace serve up first; and aces she did serve…five in a row and B-D was on top 6 – 2. Whitmore Lake stopped the next Patriot server dead in her tracks, but the Trojan serve was crumbling, until K. Kautz served four in a row, then Canter added a serve out rotation for a 15 – 8 lead. Whitmore Lake needed to keep and build upon that lead before the Patriot ace got up again. Whitmore Lake had more trouble serving and when Miss pACEtriot was up to serve, the Trojans had lost some ground, but were still up by six, 20 – 14. Whitmore Lake had no answer for B-D’s ace in the hole and she served five more in a row before being force rotated out of the position. Again, Whitmore Lake immediately stopped the next server, but couldn’t convert on their own serve after the side out. The Patriots took advantage of several Trojan miscues at the end of the set and served the final five points to win the second set 25 – 21. Whitmore Lake needed to pull back together for the final and determining set. Unfortunately, they did the opposite. Whitmore Lake continued to struggle from the serving line and several girls were not playing their positions or communicating causing numerous on court collisions. With the score at 7 – 11 and the Trojans still not firing on all eight cylinders, the second and final team timeout was called to dump a little octane into that engine. It was time for Whitmore Lake to go hard or go home. Luckily the Trojans decided not to pack their bags and started digging in. The bad news was that B-D’s serve specialist was at the line and dished up four more points for a big 18 – 11 lead closing in on the set. The next news was good as Adriana Canter matched and surpassed the Patriot’s server with a serve out rotation for five points in a row to make it 17 – 19. After side outs by both teams K. Kautz served three points and the score was tied at 21. Again, after side outs by both teams, Hayden Brose served one to put the Trojans at the penultimate point, up by three, 24 – 21. Britton-Deerfield took a time out to ice Brose and stop the Trojan momentum. The strategy worked and B-D got the vital side out. Whitmore Lake was calm and collected knowing they just needed one side out and had a couple of points to play with. On B-D’s ensuing serve, the girl missed the mark and served the ball out of bounds giving Whitmore Lake a 25 – 22 victory. The girls are showing a lot of resilience and did a nice job of responding when they were called out during a time out. They are also playing outstanding offensive ball setting up for attacks with excellent net play from K. Kautz, Canter, Taylor and Anna Kautz. The back row defensive play from A. Kautz, Joey Wilson, Kendall Everard and Charlese Stanley is putting the Trojans in good position to run that great offense. The win moves the team into a second place tie in the league with a 3 – 4 (3 – 2 TCC) record and makes it three in a row. They will go for four in a row on Wednesday when they battle the Trojans from the south at Madison.