GREENVILLE — Finally, in front its home crowd, the Greenville Yellow Jackets volleyball team didn’t disappoint the home fans.
Playing at home for the first time this season, the Yellow Jackets cruised to a three-game sweep of O-K Bronze rival Northview Wildcats. Greenville won 25-22, 25-20, 25-19.
This was Greenville’s first match since Sept. 7.
“I think we started off slow. I think the nerves got the best of us being our first home match,” Greenville coach Amy Rupno said. “We knew we wanted to come out strong. We were really strong at the end of the first set. We wanted to increase the margin of victory as we went on and we accomplished our goal in the third set.”
Northview led early in game, before the Yellow Jackets tied the game at 8-8. Greenville took the lead at 9-8 and opened a 16-11 advantage.
The Wildcats stayed within striking range and tied the game at 22-22. Greenville’s Leah Somerfield took over the game with three straight kills to win the first game.
“Leah is a leader on the court and we look up to her. We know she is our go-to girl,” Rupno said. “I’m confident in everyone, but if we are down or need some final points, the whole team knows Leah can get us those points.”
Game two was tied late 19-19. Prior to that, neither team had more than a three-point lead.
Like game one, Somerfield took over and scored five of the final six points for the Yellow Jackets to win the game 25-20.
Game three was close early with Greenville clinging to a 12-10 lead. The Yellow Jackets, though, found their groove and scored the next six points and nine of 11 to take a 21-12 lead. At that point, the match was out of reach for the Wildcats.
“We were confident and we communicated really well,” Rupno said of the deciding run. “If we can get our pass up for our setter, my hitters can run an offense all day. I’m confident of all of my hitters in the front row and I know Morgan (Wallin) can get the set there.”
Northview coach Olivia Bosch was happy with her team’s effort despite the loss.
“I was proud of my team and we have come a long ways since the summer,” Bosch said. “We’ve had a lot of adversity, injuries this year and we just moved up our libero from the JV.
“We played as team today and they played hard. I told them I will never be upset with them for losing if we play hard,” she added.
Somerfield led the Yellow Jackets with 16 kills, eight points, seven digs and four blocks. Morgan Wallin had 29 assists, 12 points and eight digs. Quinn Heyboer added 11 digs, while Stacey Fitzgerald had eight digs and seven kills.
Northview fell to 5-13 overall and 0-1 in the league.
“We need experience to cut down on some of the young mistakes,” Bosch said. “Like being in the net, bad serves, things like that we can work on and change. We only have two seniors.”
The Yellow Jackets improved to 15-3-1 overall and 1-0 in the league. Greenville travels to Cedar Springs on Tuesday.