By John Bombatch
YELLOW SPRINGS — About a month ago, the Yellow Springs girls volleyball team seemed as if it was just starting to put things together as a competitive unit.
Now? They’re there.
The host Bulldogs couldn’t seem to do anything wrong in a dominant 25-12, 25-14, 25-8 win over Tipp City Bethel, Monday night at Yellow Springs High School.
“They played so well. Every person contributed tonight. It’s truly been a team effort with these girls,” Yellow Springs coach Christine Linkhart said. “Every person who came off the bench cold, they found a way to contribute to this win. And Tyler, my daughter, went 10 for 13 in kills. You don’t get much better than that.”
Freshman setter Tyler Linkhart led the team with 10 kills, and also had a pair of blocks and seven assists. Her older sister, senior setter Kasey Linkhart, had 13 assists to go with six service aces. Sophomore middle hitter Alex Ronnebaum had two blocks as well, and bench reserves Aliza Skinner and Danny Horton each knocked down a pair of service aces.
And while all that offense was going on, players like senior Julian Roberts were busy scrambling around collecting saves and keeping the ball in play.
“They still have their ups and downs, but for the most part I think we’ve got it all together now,” coach Linkhart said.
Bethel coach Lauren Seibenaller was impressed with Yellow Springs’ level of play.
“They kept everything in play and they were really aggressive,” she said. “That kept us on our toes. While they were doing aggressive, we didn’t. We gave them an opportunity to do aggressive things, and they took advantage of it. We struggle to finish, and that’s led to a lot of errors on our side, but Yellow Springs forced us into a lot of those mistakes.
“They did a good job of putting us in those defensive situations, and we just didn’t respond how we needed to.”
Seibenaller said she appreciated sophomore Klaudia Lowery’s leadership on the court, saying the Bees sophomore was very vocal and aggressive out on the court. Bethel (1-11) hosts Franklin-Monroe at 7 p.m. tonight.
With the win, Yellow Springs climbs to 8-3 overall. The defending Metro Buckeye Conference champions are still in the hunt to repeat this season. They’re currently tied with league rival Springfield Emmanuel Christian at 2-1 in the MBC, one game behind Troy Christian which is 3-0 in the conference.
The Bulldogs’ only blemish in the past five matches came at the hands of the upstart Troy Christian team. Yellow Springs lost a tough five-setter in Troy back on Sept. 15. The next Bulldog match is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday when they’ll host Dayton Christian.
With seven MBC opponents in their final eight matches, Yellow Springs still has a chance to make up ground on Troy Christian, however. They have home match with Troy Christian on Oct. 4, and they’ll play at Emmanuel Christian on Oct. 6.