By Drew Terhall
BRADFORD — Bradford High School volleyball willed their way to a 3-2 win over Union City High School on Sept. 26. The Lady Railroaders had a chance to win the match in four, but couldn’t get the fourth set win.
Head coach Alisha Patty said she wished her team got the win in four, but she is proud of how her team played in the fifth set.
“I’m glad they came out after losing the fourth set and came out playing hard. They came back and won that fifth set,” Patty said.
Both teams had their ups and downs during the match. Patty said both teams were dealing with health problems that caused some issues fielding a full varsity and junior varsity team.
Some of those problems affected the team chemistry. Like in the first set, The Lady Railroaders had trouble with their serve receive and had trouble with communication.
Eventually, Bradford was able to string together some rallies and got the offense going. They found the open spots in the Union City defense and got some service aces. Bradford took the first set, 25-21.
The second set went differently than the first. Union City came out and took a 9-0 lead. Bradford took a timeout and started to show some better play. It wasn’t enough to climb out of the 9-0 hole they dug themselves in and Union City won the second set, 25-13.
The Lady Railroaders started the third set on fire with their serving. They jumped out to a 7-2 lead and kept a decent lead throughout most of the match. Union City didn’t back down and fought back to get within two of Bradford late in the set. Bradford settled down and finished off Union City, 25-21, and was one set away from the match win.
Union City got the upper hand in the fourth set. They held a slim lead through most of the set as Bradford had their troubles. The communication errors showed up again and Union City took advantage of them. The Lady Railroaders got back on track and tied the set. However, Union City separated themselves from Bradford and won the set, 25-19.
The fifth set went back and forth through the whole set. Both teams tried to find the extra push to get the match win. The set went into extra points as Bradford didn’t get discouraged when they couldn’t close out the set. The Lady Railroaders dug deep and won the set, 16-14.
A big reason Bradford won the match was when they communicated on the court, they were able to sustain rallies and find a way to win the point.
Patty said they have struggled with communication all season long since the team hasn’t played together before this season. She also said it has been improving.
“A lot of them were on different teams last year. It is getting a lot better, I wish it would be a little better. But, it’s a work in progress and they’re doing it. They seem to find a way to win, I give them props on that,” Patty said.
Bradford finished the game with 12 service aces and five service errors. Remi Harleman led the team with nine kills. Bella Brewer led the team with 14 digs and 10 assists. The team also had five blocks.
The Lady Railroaders are now 3-14 on the season. After a trip to Mississinawa Valley, Bradford will host Tri-Village on Sept. 29.