Crossroads ends Baldwin's volleyball season

Baldwin's Abby Oisten goes up for the ball in last week's district semifinal match at Baldwin. (Star photo/John Raffel)

Baldwin's Abby Oisten goes up for the ball in last week's district semifinal match at Baldwin. (Star photo/John Raffel)

BIG RAPIDS - It took the Baldwin volleyball team only one game to show it meant business in Wednesday's (Nov. 6) Division 4 district semifinal match.

But it took the next three games for Crossroads Charter Academy to show its determination and take a 3-1 win over the visiting Panthers.

Crossroads advanced to Thursday's title match against Pentwater where it lost 3-0.

Led by senior Jenna Johnson, the Panthers had a solid all-around game in taking the first match 25-21

But the Cougars fired back with an early 16-4 leading the second game, led with some clutch serving by Triston Murray. Sydney Kueser served an ace for a 22-10 CCA lead and also the final three points for a 25-10 win.

The Cougars continued to enjoy the momentum and fired out to a 7-0 lead in the second game. Cierra Pieski served three straight points and Johnson had a kill for a 10-7 game. But Grace Clark got two aces for a 16-8 Cougar lead. Monique Rowland had two kills and two straight service points to cut the Cougar lead to 19-18. Crossroads came back and got the 24th point on Maddie Alber's and Natalie Chapman's ace for a 25-19 win.

Jada Meeuwes tip gave CCA a 20-12 lead in the fourth game. But Rowland served five straight points to cut it to 21-10. Chapman served an ace to end the match.

"Our first district game started off slow and ugly against Baldwin," CCA coach Kristin Yates said. "Our passes were off and we were talking, but no one was listening. We were able to bring it back strong in the second set and pull off a win even with a rollercoaster of a night."

Triston Murray had a strong night with six aces and five kills, Natalie Chapman had seven kills and three aces, and Jada Meeuwes had five kills.

"I was hoping we could do it in three but the girls were just up and down today," Yates said. "But I'm very glad they brought it back. They started talking to each other and was able to bring the ball down."

Johnson is the only player who graduates for Baldwin.

"We struggled a little bit mostly, which is to be expected from a younger team," Panther coach Duane Roberts said. "The girls played their hearts out. They took their first match and they were coming back. There's no reason for them to hang their heads. I'm very proud of them It was a great standout night for senor Jenna Johnson. I can't ask for more out of her."

The key in the first match, Roberts said, "was communicating and having fun. What happened with the other games is the girls felt pressure and started looking to the scoreboard. They started realizing it could be the final time they'd be playing with Jenna."