BALDWIN – It’s been several years, Baldwin volleyball coach Duane Roberts pointed out, since his team has been able to defeat Crossroads Charter Academy.
It’s especially why the Panthers’ 3-1 win over the Cougars was extremely gratifying on Tuesday.
Baldwin won the first game 25-13, lost the second 25-23 and took the next two 26-24 and 25-22.
“In the third one, Baldwin made a comeback with spectacular plays and serves coming from bench players,” Roberts said. “Jenn Cook had some amazing aces and consistent serves. Mary Pigg had several blocks in front and nice tips to offset Crossroads’ offense.
“Rachel Carpenter had some nice digs, Penelope Lapham, our libero, had some nice saves. Monique Rowland helped with serves and tips and attacks. She’s a senior. Cierra Pieske is a junior and came through after having a tough third game to help bring us the win in the fourth. She was a star server in the first game.”
Roberts also gave credit to Abigail Oisten with tips, backsets and attacks.
“Freshman Naomi Marsh-Robinson worked hard,” Roberts said. “She moved her feet and played a great game. Jen Cook is also a senior and had some great serves. Aariona Burrell is a sophomore who had some saves strung in a row and some nice blocks, attacks and tips. Kendra Washington not only stood out with her serves but also with different digs and balls saved by sacrificing herself all over the floor.
“Overall, as a coach, I’m very proud of my players. They show grit and determination. They will sacrifice in order to make the play.”
Baldwin plays at Walkerville on Thursday with junior high action starting at 5 p.m.
The Panthers are 2-0 in the West Michigan D League.
Crossroad coach Brooklyn Routley said Natalie Chapman had 10 aces, two kills and 20 digs. Tristin Murray had four aces, 14 kills and 18 digs and Jacy Carlson had one ace, three kills and one dig.
“Set one was a real rough start for us,” Routley said. “I told the girls how you respond to a loss tells a lot about you. They came out on set two and we won by the skin of our teeth but they played very well and really did what I asked of them and showed me what they could do after taking a loss.
“Games three and four were neck and neck. Baldwin played very scrappy volleyball, which is awesome. We let some of the smaller balls go and dropped them and did not have enough to pull it out.”