Skyline Varsity Volleyball defeats Ann Arbor Huron in Five Set Match


photo courtesy Molly Johnson

The Skyline Eagles 2015 varsity volleyball team under the instruction of Coach Deanna Day.

During the small break before the Skyline Eagles vs. Huron River Rats varsity match began, the Skyline varsity volleyball team began warming up by bouncing and hitting the ball back and forth. Once everyone’s shoulders were warmed up, Coach Day worked with Ella Eliason and Maddie Roberts, both sophomores, on setting. The rest on the team dug balls hit to them by the junior varsity coach, Coach Ashley  as Huron warmed up on their half of the court. As soon as their timed warm up began, the team quickly started running hitting lines on one side while Eliason, junior Destiny Hill, junior Megan Sackman, and junior Maddie Libs dug the hits on the other. When the teams finished warming up, the players and crowd faced the flag; the national anthem was sung and the players took their places on the court.

Skyline was receiving first; their back row, Roberts, Sackman and Hill, were in back row. The serve was passed to the setter and Libs had the opportunity to hit, resulting in a point for Skyline. After two rotations, Libs was behind the service line. On her first serve, she served an ace.

After Skyline lost the serve, Tylar Benion had a point-winning hit, bringing the score to 7-7. One point later, Jen Brightmon had a point-winning block. The Eagles called a timeout when the score reached to 24-21, Huron’s lead. The Eagles won the ball back and kept the Rats from winning the set.

The Eagles’ defense helped keep the balls off the floor while Liv Baugh, sophomore, Celia Arsen, senior and Brightmon, junior, had point-winning offensive plays. The Eagles kept the score close throughout the set but the Rats gained two points, ending the match with a final score of 28-26.

Huron started the second set strong, leaving Skyline behind by five points but losing the ball to Arsen’s block. Chandra Jackson served and Arsen scored another block with Molly Johnson. Huron won the ball back, making the score 2-6 and serving five points in a row, but the Rats couldn’t keep Baugh’s kill from hitting the ground.

Sackman helped bring the Eagles back by serving five points. Johnson and Sackman helped keep the Eagles moving closer with their hits. At 11-12, Huron took a timeout and won the next point. Once again, Huron had a long serving run, which brought them four points ahead of Skyline. This set was close like the first; at 24-23, Skyline called a timeout. When everyone was back on the court, Huron lost the point, ending the set and bringing the total score to 1-1.

Skyline and Huron each won one additional match, with the scores 25-19 and 25-16, which yielded a fifth set to 15.

Going into the fifth and final set to 15, the Eagles had city champs in their minds, but the Rats gained a six point lead in the beginning of the match. Huron’s large student section was nerve-wracking for the team. “Our libero, Megan Sackman, told us to step up and leave everything behind and just play the game we know,” said CHS sophomore Johnson. “After this we played as hard as we could.” That was when Skyline turned it around. Despite the game being close, the Eagles finally got the two point lead they needed and closed the set 16-14. The ending score of the match was 3-2; the Rats fought until the end but the Eagles fought back harder.

All three of Skyline’s teams won their match in the third set defeating Huron. These wins put them in the lead for district standings.