Volleyball Team 2-0 in Conference Race

Danni Coates stops a Bayless serve in the Brentwood Invitational on Saturday. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Eagles avenge tournament losses to Bayless by winning dual meet

By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit

Lydia Dorenbusch sets up an attack for her teammates on the front row against Miller Career Academy.

Coach Whitney Ralph summed up the past couple of weeks for her Brentwood High School volleyball team:

“We have moments of brilliance,” she said, “and moments of ‘What the heck just happened?’”

The good moments include staying undefeated in the South Central AA Conference by defeating Bayless in two sets, outlasting Lutheran North in a three-set battle and nearly taking down Clayton.

“I was really proud of the girls even though we lost,” Ralph said of the match at Clayton. “We played with a lot of heart. Clayton was aggressive and we were definitely outmatched size-wise. But the girls didn’t let it get to them, they didn’t play down, they kept up their intensity. It was a really good match.”

But there have also been outings that Ralph would file under “What the heck just happened?” She seemed stunned after the Eagles lost in two sets to John F. Kennedy at home. And after the second match of the Brentwood Invitational, a loss to Bayless in which BHS scored only 14 points in the first set, Ralph commented, “We just didn’t show up this morning. It’s like we didn’t know what volleyball was.”

Brentwood went on to take second place in its five-team invitational, going 4-2. Both losses were to Bayless. But after losing four out of four sets to the Broncos at the tournament, the Eagles beat them in two sets at a dual meet three days later.

“It’s exactly what happened last year,” Ralph said. “Bayless beat us in our tournament and then we beat them in a dual meet a few days later. It’s always a good matchup. They have a couple of hitters and are a very scrappy team — they don’t give up on the ball easily, they keep after it. They don’t make a lot of mistakes, to be honest. They kind of force other teams to make mistakes, which is their M.O., which is a good way to be.”

As of Thursday morning, Sept. 18, the Eagles are 6-3 in dual meets and 2-0 in the South Central AA Conference.

Middle hitter Kate Gilmore was back in the lineup at the Brentwood Invitational after being out for a week with an injury suffered against Affton. In Gilmore’s absence, Ralph moved Emily Connor from outside hitter to middle hitter, and put Emma Holmes on the outside.

“Emma Holmes and Emily Connor were playing different positions and they stepped up and did a good job this week,” said Ralph.

South Central AA Conference
Standings as of Sept. 18
Brentwood 2-0
Valley Park 1-0
Bayless 1-1
Crossroads 1-1
Hancock 0-3

2014 Brentwood Results and Schedule
Dual-meet record after Sept. 17: 6-3
Beat MRH 25-16, 26-24
Beat Gateway Science 25-5, 25-2
Beat Lutheran North 25-21, 20-25, 25-22
Lost to Affton 25-13, 25-13
Lost to Clayton 22-25, 25-17, 25-19
Beat Jennings 25-3, 25-8
Beat Hancock 25-4, 25-18

Brentwood Invitational, 2nd place:
Lost to Bayless 25-14, 25-22
Beat Miller Career 25-12, 25-9
Beat Lutheran North 25-17, 25-21
Beat North County Christian 25-15, 25-9
Beat Lutheran North 25-21, 25-20
Lost to Bayless 25-19, 25-21

Beat Bayless 25-21, 25-17
Lost to John F. Kennedy25-17, 26-24
Sept. 19, host Crossroads, 4 p.m., 5 p.m.
Sept. 23, host Valley Park, 4 p.m., 5 p.m.
Sept. 25, at Principia, 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 30, host Hancock, 4 p.m., 5 p.m.
Oct. 3, host Bayless, 4 p.m., 5:15 p.m.
Oct. 4, at Crossroads tournament
Oct. 7, at Crossroads, 4 p.m., 5 p.m.
Oct. 9, host Orchard Farm, 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m.
Oct. 10, at Valley Park, 4 p.m., 5 p.m.
Oct. 13, at MRH, 4p.m., 5 p.m.

All photos by Steve Bowman

Emily Connor leads Brentwood onto the court before the match with Bayless. She’s followed by Danni Coates, Lydia Dorenbusch, Caroline Snare, Yumi Sasaki, Kate Gilmore and other teammates.
Kate Gilmore has been injured but was back in the lineup at the Brentwood Invitational on Saturday.
Caroline Snare slams one over the net that Dana Celebic of Bayless tries to block.
Danni Coates serves to Bayless.
Brentwood celebrates scoring a point on Bayless.
Aliah Erby blocks a hit by Bayless.
Emily Connor keeps a volley going.
Claudia Jones against John F. Kennedy on Sept. 17.
Emma Holmes (second from right) and her teammates score a point against Bayless.
Emily Connor moves to block a hit by Bayless.
Kate Gilmore (left) jokes with teammates Lydia Dorenbusch, Danni Coates and Emily Connor during a match with Gateway on Sept. 2.
Aliah Erby waits at the net during a referee’s time out. She’s one of five seniors on Brentwood’s roster.
Lydia Dorenbusch serves to Miller Career Academy at the Brentwood Invitational.

Brentwood head coach Whitney Ralph (right) shouts direction during the Sept. 17 match with Kennedy while JV coach Erica Robertson takes statistics.
Lauren Macy cheers Emily Connor (right) for scoring a point against Miller Career.
Claudia Jones (left) and Lydia Dorenbusch dive for the ball against John F. Kennedy.
Yumi Sasaki against Miller Career on Saturday.
Brentwood acknowledges another point against Miller Career.
Caroline Snare is ready for the next Miller Career serve. She’s the only freshman on Brentwood’s varsity but is one of the team’s best hitters and servers.
Emma Holmes eyes the ball before serving to Miller Career.
Head coach Whitney Ralph talks to her players during a Miller Career timeout.

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