BHS volleyball squad enjoys thrill of victory
GARDNER — It took three weeks, but the Baldwin High School volleyball team ended its losing skid here Tuesday evening.
Since defeating Eudora on their opening night, the Bulldogs have lost six straight matches, which included a sweep at De Soto last Thursday. Their seventh straight loss came in the first match Tuesday to host Gardner-Edgerton.
After losing in two games, the Bulldogs rallied to beat Spring Hill in three games. Smiles could be seen all over the Baldwin team when the match ended.
“It feels like we beat Eudora again, because it’s been so long since we’ve had a win,” senior Katie Brecheisen said. “I’m really happy that we were able to pull that off in a tight situation. That’s something in the past that we usually would have lost. I’m really glad we were able to pull it off this time.
“It feels like we got over a hump tonight,” she said. “We’ve been climbing a hill since the Eudora match. Now we got over the top and we can move on.”
Baldwin won in three games 25-18, 10-25 and 25-23. Baldwin’s coach Kelly Brown was proud of her team for playing hard during the Spring Hill match and winning.
“I have tears of emotion right now,” Brown said. “I am so pleased with the things that I saw tonight, especially in the last game. The girls really came alive and showed they wanted to win. I haven’t seen that from them in a while.”
The Bulldogs came out and controlled much of the first game. They led 14-12 before going on several small runs and winning the game. Unfortunately, that momentum didn’t carry over to the second game.
“We won the first game because Spring Hill made a lot of errors,” Brown said. “We didn’t put a lot of offense down and they weren’t forcing us to do a lot of things offensively. So there was no drive to play intense and we came out flat in the second game.”
Spring Hill began the next game with a 10-0 run. The Broncos expanded that lead to 15-2 as they rolled over Baldwin 25-10.
Brecheisen said the Bulldogs had trouble with receiving serves in the second game and couldn't find a way to improve on their mistakes.
“In the second game, our passing pretty much failed,” Brecheisen said. “We couldn't get it together like we wanted to, so it kept happening and they kept scoring.”
After losing a rough second game, Brecheisen said the Bulldogs had to regroup and refocus for the final game.
“We got more pumped up, because we knew we had to fight to win,” she said. “In the second game, we thought we could just play hard and win, but in the third game we wanted it more and we got it.”
Once the third game began, momentum again shifted. Baldwin took an early 2-0 lead, but the two teams battled closely all game long. Baldwin led 23-20 before Spring Hill tied the score at 23-23.
On the next point, BHS junior Ramie Burkhart spiked a ball that bounced off a Spring Hill player’s arms and out of bounds. Brecheisen won the match on the next point as she recorded one of her many kills.
“Ramie and Katie did a great job in the last match,” Brown said. “Katie came alive in the last game. We need to be able to rely on her more often.”
Brown was proud of her team for winning a close match that came down to the final points.
“We’ve been close before and not been able to pull it out,” Brown said. “This time we kept fighting and playing aggressive. For us to end the game playing so aggressively, is key for our success.”
Baldwin lost both games to Gardner, 25-17 and 25-23. BHS also lost to the Trailblazers in its home tournament on Sept. 12, but Brown said her team played better Tuesday.
“We did a great job serving tonight,” Brown said. “We played aggressive. Gardner just has a few more tools than we have. They have a couple of outside hitters that we couldn't seem to get a block on.”
The Bulldogs will have more than a week until they play again. Their next competition will be the Wellsville Tournament Oct. 3.
“It was nice to walk out of the gym with a win,” Brown said. “We don’t play for a week and a half and we’ve got a lot of things that we still need to tweak. It will be nice to have this time to work on things.”