ADA — The Ada volleyball team played well and very hard, but lost in straight sets to visiting power Coldwater Thursday night.

The hard-fought 25-10, 26-24, 25-15 loss dropped the Lady Bulldog record to 2-2. Coldwater improved to 2-0 with the win.

"We played our best match this season," said Bulldog second-year head coach Kyleigh Tabor. "Our hustle and defense was great. Our top seven showed a lot of heart."




The atmosphere was energized by a large and loud Ada student throng, which inspired the Lady Bulldogs to hustle all over the court from the very start of play.

Ada battled the Lady Cavs to a 6-6 start in set one. The visitors spurted to a 10-6 lead before Megan Light hammered down a kill.

Coldwater then reeled off eight unanswered points with the aid of three well-placed tips. A kill by Miranda Wills ended the flurry at 18-8. Wills then ended a long rally by bunting a shot to the vacated back corner to make it 20-9.

Light contributed a sideline smash yet the Cavs scored the final four points, capped by a block kill from 6-1 senior standout Lauren Gilliland to win the set 25-10.

Kills by Kirsten and Josie Poling helped Ada grab a 4-3 lead in set two. The Cavs inched ahead 11-8 before the Bulldogs tied it 11-11. Coldwater answered with four consecutive points yet Ada continued to battle back.

Two kills by Wills and a block kill from Kirsten Poling edged Ada within 19-18. The hosts tied it on an error, then knotted it at 20-all on a back row kill from Light.

A top by Katie Alig put the Cavs up one, but a great diving save
by Ada libero Kendal Guagenti brought the crowd to its feet and helped tie it again at 21-21. Another tip by Gilliland was followed by a Cav error for a 22-all count.

The Bulldogs tied it on an error and then earned set point at 24-23 when a Coldwater tip try fell short. But after a Cav timeout, they went to Gilliland and she tied it for the last time with a clutch kill.

Ada then hit just wide on a cross-court attack to fall behind, 25-24. A block kill from Ball State-bound Gilliland clinched the tense seesaw battle, 26-24.

Light opened the third game with a kill, but the Cavs came back to forge in front 6-2. The black and orange ran the lead to 11-3 and 13-5 before the gutsy Wills came back from a dehydration spell to hit three winners that pulled Ada within 15-10.

A Cav error and a Light kill cut the purple and gold deficit to 16-12. Two tips by Gilliland to the open short spot stopped the momentum.

"The tips were driving me crazy, we have to pick them up better," admitted Tabor. "Gilliland is a very good player."

Scrappy Ada crept within 19-14, but four consecutive Cav points ballooned the lead to nine. A Light kill cut the lead to nine, yet the visitors knocked down a final clean smash to beat the spunky Bulldogs, 25-15.

"It was amazing to have the students here tonight," said Tabor. "I hope they continue to come to our matches, the energy level was high."

Junior middle Light led the Bulldogs with nine kills, seven digs and two blocks. Hustling junior Wills knocked down six kills and came up with a dozen digs to go with three assists. Meanwhile, junior Aubrey Madison contributed seven digs, three assists and two kills.    
    
Heady senior libero Guagenti was credited with 18 digs and served one ace as she played her best match.

Sophomore setter Kirsten Poling passed out    14 assists and made eight digs. Senior Josie Poling and junior Kylie Acheson each hit for two kills.

"I am proud of our defense," said Tabor. "Our back row played great defense. I hope we can keep up the momentum defensively."

The Lady Bulldog reserves also lost, 2-1.

Ada (1-2 home) hosts non-league foe Ben Logan Monday, August 26.

"Ben Logan is always good," said Tabor. "We almost beat them over there last year."