Well, it’s that time of year again — the sound of sneakers squeaking on polished gym floors, the yells and grunts of athletes in the thrall of competition, and the relentless practices that wear athletes out, but pay off handsomely when the Bulldogs taste sweet victory. Yes, it is fall sports season, and the struggle is already in full swing! A full sports schedule will appear in next week’s paper.

Volleyball

The Bulldogs opened their season on Saturday, Aug. 20, with non-league play in a quad match at Greenon High School. They started against the Cedarville Indians. The Bulldogs came out in the first set looking a little unsure of themselves, with a few missed serves and hits into the net, which allowed the Indians to take the first set. In the second set, Cedarville tried to take advantage of the Bulldogs’ slow start but Yellow Springs fought to keep even with the Indians. With the set tied at 23–23, the Indians were blocked by Alex Ronnebaum (4 points, 1 ace, 10 kills, 8 blocks) to give the Bulldogs the serve. With a perilously close score of 24–23, Kasey Linkhart (9 points, 2 aces, 9 assists, 3 digs) served the game point by placing the ball deep in the court, which caused the Indians to hit it out of bounds. The third set again found the two teams fighting for each point until, again, Kasey Linkhart’s serves gave the Bulldogs an 18–13 lead. After several side outs, the Indians were losing momentum due to the big blocks the Bulldogs were putting up. The Bulldogs continued to punish them with kills from not just the front row but also the back row’s attacker. The Bulldogs took the match 17–25, 25–23, 25–18.

Senior Elizabeth Smith had 9 points, 1 ace, 5 digs and 1 block, while junior Elle Peifer racked up 5 points, 3 aces, 1 kill, 1 dig and 3 blocks. Dede Cheatom started her junior year with 1 kill and 6 blocks, while freshman Tyler Linkhart started hers with 4 points, 3 kills, 7 assists, 4 digs and 2 blocks. Junior Payden Kegley walked away with 1 point, 1 ace and 4 digs.

The next game of the day was against the Greeneview Rams. The Bulldogs came out like hitting machines but the Rams were scrappy and were able to keep the set close. The Rams had a hard time getting around the big blocks put up by Bulldog sophomore Alex Ronnebaum (7 points, 8 kills, 4 digs and 2 blocks) and Cheatom (3 kills, 3 blocks), so they resorted to tipping the ball. It didn’t take long for the Bulldogs to figure out their plan. The girls picked up their tips only to punish them with kills put down by Linkhart (4 points, 1 ace, 7 kills, 4 assists, 8 digs and 1 block) and Ronnebaum. In the second set, the Bulldogs took an early lead and never looked back. Back row kills by Peifer (1 point, 1 ace, 2 kills, 3 assists and 5 digs) and great serving by senior Danny Horton (4 points, 1 dig) helped secure the win. Bulldogs took the match 25–23, 25–17.

Smith had 1 point, 1 assist, 5 digs and 1 block against the Rams, while Kegley had 5 digs and Kasey Linkhart finished with 5 points, 1 ace, 7 assists and 4 digs.

The JV Bulldogs volleyball team outlasted the Cedarville Indians winning in two sets 25–17, 25–19. The Bulldogs rallied ahead in both sets with the help of junior outside hitter Kelsie Lemons.  Lemons led the team with 6 digs, 6 aces and 3 kills.  Juniors Nia Stewart and Ayanna Madison lent a hand with two blocks. Sophomore Meryam Raissouni scored two aces and freshman Julia Hoff made her volleyball debut with two kills.

The Greeneview Rams proved too tough to defeat during the Bulldog’s second match at Indian Valley Middle School. Yellow Springs lost in two sets 21–25, 13–25. Key players who contributed to the defensive effort during play were Lemons with 9 digs, and Raven James, Stewart and Madison with six digs each. On offense, sophomore Kayla Brown offered up five assists.