Greenville volleyball wins tri at Allendale

By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 12:55 pm on Friday, September 07, 2012

ALLENDALE — The Greenville Yellow Jackets continued their solid start to the 2012 volleyball season with a pair of nonconference wins.

At Allendale, the Yellow Jackets defeated the host Falcons and then dispatched of Grand Rapids Convenant Christian in straight sets on Tuesday.

Instead of the usual best-of-three set format, with the third set played to 15, the triangular was played to 25 and all three sets were played.

“We got off to a slow start,” Greenville coach Amy Rupno said. “The first set we communicated well, but after that we let the heat get to us. We were tired and it was hot.”

Greenville topped Allendale 25-17, 14-25, 25-19. After a slow second set the Yellow Jackets bounced back with a win.

“We pulled it together in the third set,” Rupno said. “I had three different rotations in each set to mix things ups. One wasn’t our strongest.”

Rupno said Allendale was a good defensive team.

“Allendale was good defensively. They were really good at picking up the ball,” Rupno said. “They were scrappy. Scrappy teams can compete at any level because they don’t let anything hit the floor.”

After adjusting to the heat in the gym, the Yellow Jackets swept the Chargers 25-17, 25-20, 25-21.

“The girls got used to the heat and it was a tougher match against Covenant Christian,” Rupno said. “I think we played more aggressive because Covenant was aggressive too.”

Rupno was happy with her team’s performance Tuesday, but did notice a difference in her team. Possibly, since it was the first day of school.

“You could tell the difference with their energy on the court,” Rupno said. “Until today, they didn’t have to wake up early, go to school all day and then take an hour bus ride to Allendale.”

The wins improved the Yellow Jackets’ record to 14-2.

“I have been really pleased with the start of the season,” Rupno said. “If I compared it to the past, we are able to finish matches. We were down in the third set against Covenant the entire match, but we pulled out the set.”

Confidence, along with talent, is the big key for the Yellow Jackets this year.

“My team is strong and they are finishers. They don’t drop their heads and quit on themselves and they will fight to the end,” Rupno said. “We have a ton of confidence and they believe in themselves.”

Greenville will begin O-K Bronze play on Thursday when they host Forest Hills Northern.

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