BICKLETON - Bickleton's volleyball season opened yesterday, Sept. 5, on its home court against freshmen from Sunnyside High School.
Both teams seemed to struggle with the first pass, which meant that good serving was going to be critical.
"We struggled early with serving, and I felt that Sunnyside served fairly well," said Coach Tom Whitmore.
Sunnyside took the first game 25-17.
"But then in game two we loosened up a bit and got some great serving runs, especially from freshman Holly Goodnight with an eight-point run late in the game."
The extra push gave Bickleton the second game, 25-17, and they kept up the momentum to take game three, 25-21.
"In game three, we had junior Jeannette Jarvis and senior Chelsey Mercer, who is our captain, with 10 and 9 service points, respectively," said Whitmore.
Game four was played pretty evenly, with Sunnyside edging Bickleton out at the end, 25-22.
"Game five was close, as well, but I felt that fatigue was starting to set in," said Coach Whitmore.
"With the warm weather we've had, the last couple of days it heated up our gym quite a bit. Both teams suffered from playing in those conditions, especially at the end," Whitmore observed.
Sunnyside hung in to take game five 15-11.
"We were playing with three eighth graders, four freshmen, a junior and a senior," said Whitmore. "Our setters did a great job of keeping the ball alive and we got some pretty good hits off of their sets."
Setters for Bickleton were eighth grader Katelynn Clinton and freshman Morgan McBride.
Pirates rounding out Bickleton's roster are Ilsa Chapple, Jessica Cummings, Johanna Jensen, Dede Kibby, Star Kibby, Emily Mercer and Haley Goodnight, a sixth grader serving as team manager.
"We are very excited about how we played. We have many things to work on, but we really like where we're at right now," said Whitmore. "In other words, it's a great place to start!"