By Seth Vanderwest

KENT CITY–The Kent City Eagles hosted the Mohawks of Morley Stanwood in Tuesday night volleyball action and took home the come-from-behind victory in five sets. 

This latest installment of the Kent City-Morley Stanwood rivalry came after the Mohawks knocked the Eagles out of the playoffs last year in the district finals. 

The Mohawks won the first set decisively, 25-16. 

Kent City jumped out to a 6-1 lead to start the second set. Morley then surged forward to take the lead and held the Eagles at arm’s length through the rest of the set. The Mohawks held on for the 23-25 win. 

Kent City found themselves down two sets to nil, and was still struggling to find its footing. Well-placed balls by the Mohawk frontcourt found the gaps in the Eagle defense and Mohawk blockers Lila Hoisington and Makenna Martin caused major problems for Kent City’s frontcourt. 

Kent City was down midway through the third set when errors left them down 13-8. They came back fighting and tied it up 22-22 with Susan Joy-Rau stepping up to serve. Rau served up 2 aces and another point, and the Eagles were on the board with a 25-22 win. 

Strong offensive play from senior Lexie Bowers and junior Maddie Geers helped give the Eagles a comfortable lead that they held throughout the fourth set. Kent City tied it up, with a 25-18 win. 

The fifth and final set quickly turned into a war of attrition. The Eagles took service down 15-14 and gave the ball to Rau once again. Rau’s strong serves and two kills from Geers secured the Eagles victory. 

“I am proud of how hard each of them continued to fight and never gave up. We have a lot to work on but pulling out that comeback says a lot about them as a team,” said Kent City coach Vandy Krueger. 

Leading Kent City was Maddie Geers and Lexie Bowers with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Bowers also led the team with 34 digs. Susan Joy-Rau finished with 7 aces. 

Alaina Christensen paced Morley Stanwood with 15 kills and 7 aces. Lila Hoisington and Makenna Martin finished with 9 and 6 blocks. Brooke Moore added 32 digs.

Eagle setter Jacee Hoffman and Mohawk setter Sienna Ososki each had 25 assists. 

Kent City improved to 11-4-1 and will continue their season next Tuesday against Tri-County.

Morley Stanwood slips to 8-8 and will take on Newaygo Tuesday.