Lady Hawks Drop Region Opener

Keosha Rheubottom (1) stands ready as Amanda Stewart sets up the return.

While playing with enthusiasm and a lot of heart, Westwood’s Lady Redhawks Volleyball team could not overcome the effect of the loss of some injured and ineligible key players Sept. 13, as they fell to Chapin in three games in their region opener.

“Tonight we are looking for better passing, and an improvement in our serving game.  We have shifted some players around since last game.  Our game will be centered around our setter, Jordan Jones. We expect her to be on her A-game,” said head coach Amanda Kruysman.

Westwood was playing without two injured key players, Journee English and Jamila Minor. Both girls are outside hitters, and they are the team’s only regular outside hitters.  Further, because of the appearance rules, Stephanie Keesee was not able to play.  Keesee was brought up from the junior varsity team to bolster some weaknesses in the varsity.  However, the rules limit the number of appearances a player may have with either the JV or varsity, and the coaches wanted to maintain the integrity of the JV as well as the varsity, therefore Keesee could not take part in the Sept. 13 game.

“We are saving Stephanie for our big games,” Kruysman said.

The first game was quite even for the first half, with Westwood leading 6-5 in the early going.  By the halfway point, Chapin took a slight lead, 18-14.  The breaks went Chapin’s way for the last part of the game.  Westwood’s attempts to stay in the game were hindered by three oversets, which set the ball slightly over the net instead of slightly before the net.  Those oversets were easy kills for Chapin’s hard-hitting Becca Barton, Brooke Clifton and Sara Jefferson. Final score of game one was 25-15.

Game 2 went much like the previous game.  Westwood could not be said to be out of it at any point.  However, similar mistakes and a couple of balls the team called out of bounds but that landed clean, cost them in the end.  The second game ended 25-14, Chapin.

Game 3 was Westwood’s best by far.  The team showed good hustle all the way through, and better determination than in the previous two games.  One bright spot for the team was the play of junior Victoria Houghton, brought up from the junior varsity for this game.  Houghton was excellent in every facet of the game, including serving, hitting and digging for nearly impossible balls.  Houghton could be seen to make every sacrifice for the sake of the team, and was the most aggressive player for Westwood.

The Lady Redhawks jumped out to a 3-poind lead in the beginning of the game.  A couple of errors at the net set them back, and the score became 9-7 Chapin.  Another overset and other breaks going Chapin’s way increased their lead to 18-10.  Westwood staged a comeback late in the game bringing the score from 20-12 to 21-14.  Unfortunately the next four points would fall Chapin’s way for a final score of 25-14.

“We were never out of the match.  My players played much better than I anticipated, they played with a good attitude and a lot of heart,” said Kruysman.