By Joe Shouse

Sports Writer

ANTWERP - Last Tuesday was opening night in Green Meadows Conference volleyball, with teams across the league playing for a top spot in the league.

For the Antwerp Lady Archers, head coach Paul Stoll's club was at home to face the Fairview Apachies. Fairview entered play undefeated at 3-0 overall and managed to keep their winning steak alive with a 25-21, 25-23, 22-25, 25-17 win. With the loss the blue and white falls to 2-4 overall and 0-1 in the GMC.

In a tightly played first set, the score was knotted at 10 a piece and again at 15 and at 20. With the score even at 21-21 the Apaches broke loose to score the final four points to set the tone in taking a 1-0 lead in games.

The second set, much like the first, was played very closely. Back-to-back kills by Lady Archer Asti Coppes and Alyssa Fuller had the Archers leading 8-6 in the early going but Fairview fought back to take a 13-10 advantage. Again, Coppes had an answer for the Archers with two kills in knotting the score at 13 a piece. Antwerp enjoyed a three-point advantage at 19-16 before the Apaches regrouped to secure a 23-21 lead. Antwerp kept the pace and tied the score at 23 but it wasn't enough as the Apaches scored the final two points.

Trailing 2-0 in games the Archers didn't want to give up the third set. After trailing 1-0 the Archers took the lead and held it throughout the contest until Fairview's Kiersten Cline connected on a serving ace to give the visitors a brief lead 19-18. However, the Archers had enough fight in them to regain the lead to hang on for the win when Coppes drilled a kill for the final Archer point avoiding a sweep.

"They (Fairview) was continuously on the attack and they hit hard. They have a good setter and they played really hard tonight. Their coach, Allison (O'Neil-Ciolek) is really doing a good job," said Coach Stoll.

Following an emotional third set that kept the Archer's hopes alive the fourth and what would turn out to be the final set was controlled by the Apaches. Antwerp never led and fell behind 10-4 forcing a time out. The deficit grew to as many as 11 when the Archers trailed 23-12. Antwerp kept their heads up and continued to play hard and managed to narrow the margin down to eight at 23-15 but would not recover.

"It's hard to talk about the positives after a loss but I thought we played very well. Our passing was much better and I liked how we came back in the second game and then won the third. Our blocking was much better tonight and I think for a young team everything is coming along but it just takes time," said Coach Stoll.

Karsyn Brumett and Coppes led the Lady Archers statistically with Brumett finishing with 31 digs, 24 assists, 15/16 serving including three aces. For Coppes, a sophomore playing volleyball for the first time, finished with 20 digs, three blocks and 12/12 serving.

"Karsyn is doing a great job for us. She's  a first year setter and she works at making the smart decisions. Coppes has a very competitive spirit about her and she is all over the net. She plays very aggressive and I expect she will only get better as the season progresses," said Coach Stoll.

Other Lady Archers playing well included Alyvia Devore with 10 digs and 19/20 serving with three aces. Fuller finished with 18 digs and team mate Maddie Boesch adding 14 digs.