East Grand Rapids downs Greenville volleyballers

By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 4:12 pm on Thursday, September 22, 2011

GREENVILLE - The struggles continue at home for the Greenville Yellow Jackets volleyball team.
The Yellow Jackets were left looking for answers, possibly confidence, after their first home match of the season. East Grand Rapids defeated Greenville 25-16, 25-16, 25-11 on Tuesday night to start the O-K White Conference schedule.

“We have a problem with taking a lead and letting someone come back,” Greenville coach Amy Rupno said. “Once they (Greenville) have the lead. We fight up to a four point difference and after that I think they believe they can’t come back. You could see it in their faces, the way they play and their passes.”

The first game was even at 6-6 when the Yellow Jackets opened a 10-7 advantage. That would be their final lead of the night as the Pioneers won five straight points to take the lead 12-10. They closed out the set 15-6 for the game one win.

Greenville entered the night 15-3 overall. Rupno thinks her team loses confidence and questions their ability on the court when things turn bad.

“They know how good they are and when they start to lose, they don’t think they are as good as they thought,” she said. “I think that effects them and gets inside their heads.”

Rupno said the Yellow Jackets need a leader on the court.

“Right now we don’t have someone that can step up and say we need to pick our heads up,” Rupno said. “We are better than this.”

Greenville never challenged in game two. East went up 5-1 to start the game and had a game high 10-point lead at 22-12.

In game three, the Yellow Jackets were within 7-5 early. The Pioneers won six straight points and finished the game on a 18-6 run.

Rupno said her team started the match well before the tide turned.

“They wanted to play. They wanted to win,” Rupno said. “They were passing well and we were playing back and forth.

“East played amazing defense along the back row. They never gave up on a pass,” she added.

East Grand Rapids improved to 9-2 overall.

“It was fun. We switched up some things from this weekend,” Pioneers coach Christine Grunewald said. “It was so much quieter tonight that we had to create some of our own energy. I think the girls played well and stayed consistent.”

Maeve McDonald led the Pioneers with 26 assists, Betsy Ronda had 12 kills and Mackie House added five digs.

Rosalyn Wyse and Leah Somerfield led Greenville with six kills each. Somerfield added three blocks and Heather Harrington had two. Megan O’Brien had 12 assists while Katie Dunham had six digs.

Greenville (15-4, 0-1) will try again at home tomorrow against the Northview Wildcats.

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