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By: Seth Kinker, skinker@thesuntimesnews.com

The fifth place Chelsea Bulldog volleyball team fell to the third place Pinckney Pirates at home in an SEC White contest on Oct. 9 in consecutive sets (13-25, 24-26, 20-25). 

Early on, it was all Pirates as they dominated the first set, with the last two sets containing back and forth volleyball with two late set comebacks for the Pirates against a young Bulldog team forming an identity. 

The Bulldogs got out to an early lead in the first set but the Pirates would battle back.  

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Pirate senior Abby Mondro had the winning kill in the opening set, she lead the team with five kills in the opening set and would lead the Pirate offense in kills on the night. 

In the second set, the Bulldogs would jump out to an early 12-6 lead and kept it for most of the set until late. Once the game was tied at 18, the teams traded points back and forth until they were tied at 21. 

The Pirates then scored three straight to make the score 24-21, sitting on set point. The Bulldogs would fight back to even the score at 24 in a win by two scenario with the sets played to 25, but a controversial hit that the Bulldogs thought might have gotten tipped wasn’t called and the Pirates took a 2-0 lead when they won the set 26-24. 

In the third set, it was even from the first serve, as neither team could string more than a point or two together until late in the set. 

A Pirate kill from junior Emme Carruthers tied the third set at 19. A Bulldog block tied it at 20. 

The Pirates then scored the final five points, capped off by an ace from junior libero Sophia Oakes. 

Offensively, the future is bright as sophomore’s Ella McGlashen and Rachel Hein have stepped up, along with freshman Kayla Munson, to lead the Bulldog offense.

At the start of the season, second year Bulldog head coach Erin Dillon told The Sun Times the team had to find a new identity this year with a new group.

Within the past couple of weeks, the team sat down and did just that. 

“Family,” reported Dillon when asked about what identity this group had found. “We came up with values we wanted to have. We decided we had to reform our identity. It really came from the girls, I had nothing to do with it. They decided family would be the most important thing. Going forward winning wasn’t necessarily the most important outcome in every single game, it was how can we play together as a family” 

Although the Bulldogs fell tonight, the final 3-0 set count wasn’t indicative of the progress not only from this game, but that the team has already been building throughout the season. 

“I saw fight,” said Dillon on the teams performance against Pinckney. “Overall, the way they played showed huge improvement from the rest of the season. Looking forward its just keeping our focus of not an outcome driven goal but a family driven goal.” 

“Another slogan they came up with,” added Dillon. “’We’re playing for November,’ which is Districts.”

Photos by Lynne Beauchamp

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