by Becky Erste-Holmberg
On Tuesday evening, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m., the Rockford varsity volleyball team took on the Hudsonville Eagles in the first round of regional competition. The warm-ups featured cross court action with the coaches spiking for the players to dig the ball.
The National Anthem began the evening, sung by the Rams’ own Ali Prus, and then the players were announced. There are six seniors on the Rockford team, however the night’s win was a collaborative one. The Rams won three out of five games to win the match, and all three were tough, tight games.
The first game ended in a 25-23 Ram win. It featured good blocks by Andrea Kacsits (#10), Jenna Lysne (#14), Kylie Basarabski (#7), and Kim Weaver (#6). Excellent serving was made by Heather Gates (#5) and Ali Prus (#8). Finally, the first game featured excellent hits by Jessica Majerle (#15).
Points are made by rally scoring, meaning one doesn’t have to be serving to score a point. Also, the ball can hit the net on a serve as long as it goes over the net and stays in bounds on the opposing side.
In the second game, the teams switched sides and the Rams started out slowly. Rockford was down 0-4, but came back and the teams were neck-and-neck before the Rams took over the game to win 25-15. This game featured some long volleys and spikes by Calie Johnson (#1), great serving by Halle Peterson (#12) and the all-around good play by Kacsits.
In the third game of the match for the evening, the Ram mascots came out and, along with the crowd, looked on as the Rams defeated the Eagles in another 25-23 win. This game wasn’t pretty, however, as the Rams just snuck it out from being down 16-20. Rockford tied it at 23 and got the last 2 points to pull out the game with some good jump serves by Sidney Rodriguez (#9). This win qualified Rockford for the regional championship game at Rockford High School on Thursday, Nov. 12 against Grand Haven.
Rockford won their first regional championship for the school in volleyball history against Grand Haven. Coach Delacher said he was “super proud” of the girls, as they worked really hard and were very deserving of their win. The Rams played four games in the match. They won the first two, lost the third, but then defeated the Grand Haven Buccaneers to win the best out of five to take the match.
The first game ended with a close 25-20 Rockford win. In game two, Rockford won convincingly with a 25-8 score, which was contributed mainly to the excellent blocking and spiking by Kacsits and Marjerle. Also, Peterson had a long serving run in the game. In the third game, Rockford lost 23-25.
The fourth game saw Rockford win the match 25-18. Good plays were made by Johnson, Weaver, Basarabski, Prus and Kacsits, and Majerle put a spike down to win.
The Rams move on to the quarterfinals on Tuesday, Nov. 17, to play the regional Portage Central winner at Muskegon’s Reeths-Puffer school. If the Rams win, the state semifinal is on Thursday, Nov. 19 in Battle Creek at the Kellogg Arena, with the state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 21, at the same location.