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Bickleton girls win five-game thriller against Lady Knights

BICKLETON - With Katelynn Clinton's strong play at the net, Holly Goodnight's lazer-like serves and Morgan McBride's pinpoint sets, the Bickleton High School volleyball team out-lasted Sunnyside Christian last Friday.

The Lady Pirates, playing on their home court, eked out a 3-2 victory to claim their second win of the season against Sunnyside Christian. The hard-fought victory secures a second place finish in league play for Bickleton.

Sunnyside Christian came out on the short end in the first two games last Friday, dropping 25-17 and 25-12 decisions.

"We played really, really well. In the first two games, I believe we only had one service error," said Bickleton Coach Kim Clinton.

The Lady Knights refused to close up shop, however, rallying for a pair of 27-25, 25-23 victories.

In the rubber game, Bickleton persevered and pulled out a match-deciding 15-10 win.

Freshman Aymie Osbourne played a key role down the stretch for the Lady Pirates, stepping up to the net to slam home the final two points of the match. Clinton said she noticed Osbourne wasn't making aggressive hits, instead just tipping the ball over the net.

"I finally looked at her and said, 'you've got to go for the hit'," Clinton recalled. The freshman obliged, powering through for several kills to bring the match to a close.

Overall for the match, it was Katelynn Clinton who turned in the most impressive numbers at the net. She collected 16 kills and was credited with blocking six of Sunnyside Christian's spikes.

Goodnight led the Lady Pirates from the service line, successfully putting 36-of-39 serves into play. Team-wise, Bickleton was 102-for-118 from the service line.

The setter McBride tallied the most assists for Bickleton in the five-game match, 17 in all.

Factoring in last week's 3-2 win over Trout Lake/Glenwood, the Lady Pirates are now 10-3 in regulation-length matches this season. Bickleton closes out regular season play this week, with a non-league match-up against LaSalle this coming Wednesday and the league finale against Trout Lake/Glenwood this coming Friday.

Sunnyside Christian Coach Tammy Bangs said Friday's match was Murphy's Law at its finest.

"Looking back, I can say we were doomed from the moment we pulled into the parking lot," Bangs quipped. "I had one player forget her entire uniform at school, another vomiting from the car ride, and then we were the lucky team to be the first varsity level game the referee got to officiate.

"Put it all together, and you have the makings of a very frustrating match," Bangs said.

"The girls did what they could to deal with the pitfalls, but mentally it really took its toll. They fought hard and we some great rallies throughout the match, but our little errors occurred at very critical times and made it difficult to pull out a win," she added.

Individually for Sunnyside Christian, Joleen Van Wingerden had the strongest performance at the net. She recorded 14 kills. Van Wingerden also tallied three defensive digs, was credited with 17 perfect passes and notched two aces while going 14-for-16 from the service line.

Also for the Lady Knights, Abby Bangs tallied a team-best 11 assists and was 11-for-12 from the service line; Emily Bangs went 12-for-12 with her serves and had six perfect passes; Alyssa Haak was 11-for-13 in serving the ball and had 13 perfect passes; Ashley Haak was 13-for-14 from the service line with four aces and had six assists; and Janelle DeGroot and Maddy Wavrin each contributed four kills at the net.

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