By Chris Metcalf
LIVONIA – This one was an instant volleyball classic.
Trailing two sets to one, visiting Cal-Mum battled back to take the fourth set 27-25, fighting off three match points, and then earn the thrilling 16-14 victory in the fifth set, highlighted by Reba Kessler’s kill shot that gave the Lady Raiders the LCAA crossover win over Livonia Thursday night at the Tom Downey Gymnasium.
The final point of the match was a marathon, including 23 hits, with two incredible digs by Cal-Mum super-soph Shea Drakowski, and finishing with the junior Kessler’s blast that gave Cal-Mum the thrilling win.
The Raiders were led by Kessler’s double-double with 12 kills and 11 digs.
Also for Cal-Mum, Malina Bellos dished out 10 assists with five kills while Drakowski added 10 digs.
Brooke VanDyne contributed 17 service points for the Raiders, who improved to 8-5 on the season.
Livonia was led by Hannah Ingram with 10 kills, five digs, four aces and two blocks while Julie Renner added 16 assists, along with six digs, three aces and one kill. Lillie Capecci also had a big night for Livonia with 12 assists, four digs, four aces and two kills.
Cal-Mum coach Amy Harmon was proud of her team’s composure down the stretch.
“We have had many conversations throughout the season about being mentally prepared, playing as one team, not individuals and staying positive even if we are down,” coach Harmon said. “We kept our composure and did what we needed to do to pull out the win. It was an amazing team effort and all 13 players contributed to our success.”
Livonia fell to 14-3 overall.
Livonia celebrated senior night with Ingram, Renner, Capecci, Ava Simmons, Morgan Meys, Caroline Cendoma, Jenna Gorton and Megan Tumminelli.
Lindsey Meys Photography