By: Chris Faulknor, Publisher
After a rough start, the Ramblers emerged triumphant in the girls volleyball district finals against the Charlevoix Rayders.
“It was the first time any of the players on our team has one a district title for anything,” said Kylie Hicks.
The Ramblers won the first game with a score of 25-16 on their home court, but found that their struggle continued into the second game.
“We struggled again with serve receive the first and second game,” said Head Coach Casie Parker. “I was unsure if we would be able to come back mentally.”
“We had to refocus and concentrate on our strengths again,” she added.
After losing the second game 24-26, the Ramblers pulled things together.
“We could have done better the first two games, but we rocked it the last three,” said Junior Erin Baker, 2012 Libero for the Ramblers.
“We got the momentum at the end of the second game and seemed to keep it from there on out,” added Parker.
“We started playing smarter and doing things we planned to do.”
The final three games were won by the Ramblers with scores of 25-23, 25-13, and 15-10 respectively.
“I felt like we realized that we have worked too hard to lose at this point,” said Rainy McCune, one of the four leading scorers.
McCune finished with 15 digs and 8 kills.
While the game brought a district win and put another plaque on the wall, the memories of these games may last just as long.
“I loved the one play when I bumped the ball up but it didn’t go right to the setter so Paige (Hornbeck) took it instead but shanked it to the bleachers and I dove/slid into the crowd to get it over the net winning the point,” said Baker
“My favorite play would have to be when I chased after a ball going towers the back wall and free balled it over and it hit on the back line and everyone thought it was out and of course the last point that Paige Hornbeck scored, that such an awesome moment I will never forget it,” added McCune.
The Ramblers show an overall record of 33-13-5 and a conference record of 11-3.
Heather Nichols headed up the team in setter assists, coming in with a final 38 and 5 ace serves.
Kylie Hicks shows 22 digs, 24 kills, and 6 blocks.
“Kylie was a big factor for us tonight,” added Parker.
“She hit very well all night.”
Erin Baker led the team in digs with a grand total of 28.
“Erin Baker played great defense tonight and stepped it up the last three games,” added Parker.
Even beyond the nights triumphs, the value these girls place on their time in volleyball goes beyond winning and losing.
“I am more confident talking to other people besided my really close friends,” said Baker.
“I’m more of a leader now.”
Baker isn’t alone in these thoughts.
“Being on the volleyball team has really given me the opportunity to be a leader by example,” added McCune.
“I’m not the loudest on the team and I’m not the best on the team but I try my hardest and give it my all.”
“Being on this volleyball team has given me an opportunity to become a better leader. I am more confident in myself and talking more to other when I am on the court,” said Heather Nichols.
The Ramblers have also appreciated the support from their fellow students.
“Just being on the court and listening to the student sections and all the fans was my favorite along with all of the celebration afterwards,” added Hicks
The Ramblers will now compete in Regionals which will begin at Traverse City St. Francis on Tuesday, Nov. 6.