ROGERS CITY-The Rogers City volleyball team celebrated its last game at home this season with a parents and senior night. It was the last time Lindsay Claus, Brooklyn Idalski, Nikkie LaLonde, Makayla Thompson and Rebecca Meredith would play on their home floor.
Luckily for the girls, they didn't let themselves or their parents down: they won a dramatic match against Rudyard 3-2, including two intense come-from-behind wins.
"The seniors really came out and played hard and they kept that intensity up the whole match," Rogers City coach Jackie Quaine said.
News Photo by Eric Benac
Rogers City’s Brooklyn Idalski (5) hits the ball over the net as Rudyard’s Savannah Dugan jumps up to block during a volleyball match on Tuesday at Rogers City High School.
The first game of the match highlighted that intensity. Rogers City and Rudyard were very evenly matched the whole game until Rudyard pulled ahead of Rogers City 17-10 on six straight points, five of which Ashlee Bonnee served.
Luckily for the Hurons, they began an eight-point serving streak under the capable serves of LaLonde. The Hurons only gave up three points to the Bulldogs out of the next 15 serves to stage a dramatic come from behind victory 25-20. Alexa Quaine served for five of those points.
She contributed 16 assists and 14 digs on the night and LaLonde led the team defensively with 25 digs.
The second game did not go well for Rogers City. Rudyard came out swinging, led by the excellent attacks of Kayla Coffey. In spite of three excellent saves by Idalski and a dramatic block by Claus, the Hurons lost 25-14.
Idalski did well on defense with 23 digs and served four aces. Claus contributed 10 kills, 11 digs and six blocks on the night.
Quaine praised Idalski's play during the game.
"Brooklyn did great tonight," she said. "She kept digging it out when we needed it most."
The third game saw a return to the dramatics that had characterized the first game. It was the closest match of the game with a lot of back-and-forth scoring. The most either team led by during this game was by four points. Coffey continued to knock down spikes that Rogers City began to dig much more effectively, helping to slow Rudyard's attack.
Rogers City led at the end 24-22 but lost the next two points and Rudyard eventually won 27-25.
Rudyard's momentum continued into the fourth game where it began knocking down lots of points, while Rogers City committed a few errors. Ten of the first 13 points went to Rudyard, but Rogers City kicked it up and brought the game 11-7 before stalling again and falling behind 20-10.
A timeout by coach Quaine at that point seemed to rally Rogers City. LaLonde served during eight of nine consecutive Rogers City points that tied the game 20-20.
The Hurons regained the serve on the next point to tie the game as Cassie Brege served four straight points to propel the Hurons to a win, 25-21.
Quaine commented on the dramatic match-changing chat she had with her girls.
"I told them they had to start hitting the ball," she said. "They got into this setting and tipping rut and weren't scoring points. Once they started hitting it, we started winning."
Rogers City turned a potential quick loss into a dramatic game five showdown. Each team seemed to answer each other back for most of the game until, after 22 game points, they were tied 11-11. Idalski scored for four consecutive game points to win the game and the match 15-11.
Many of the seniors had big nights offensively and defensively. Meredith led the team offensively with 14 kills and also contributed 11 digs. Makayla Thompson had six digs. Courtney Streich had 15 assists while Brege had 16 assists and 13 digs.
Rogers City moves to 18-15-5 on the season and plays at Onaway on Thursday.