The Garden City volleyball program’s 2015 senior class was small, but mighty.
With blue and orange balloons lining the stands in the Cougars’ gymnasium, final-year players Allie Lynn and Heather Pennington were recognized during pre-match “Senior Night” festivities, then right on cue, they sparkled under the spotlight once the match kicked in.
Lynn, who is a four-year varsity player, closed her regular-season home career with 11 kills, seven aces and flawless defense, while Pennington threw down nine kills and two aces to lead the Cougars to a never-a-doubt 25-8, 25-16, 25-3 triumph over an overmatched Dearborn Heights Crestwood unit.
Garden City improved to 24-11 overall and 9-1 in the Western Wayne Athletic Conference. The Cougars earned a first-place tie in the Blue standings with Romulus.
The night belonged to Lynn and Pennington, two all-around standouts who displayed their elevated talents during the quick and efficient win over the Chargers.
Lynn ignited the night’s festivities with a kill on the match’s first point while Pennington was especially dominating in game two, as during one stretch, she had a hand in four straight Cougar points.
“Allie and Heather are the strongest points of this team; they are both critical to the success of our team offensively,” said GC head coach John Pace. “When we do well, it’s because they’re doing well.
“I know that every time they go out there, they’re going to execute properly. As a coach, it’s always nice to see young adults like these two ladies always put the team ahead of themselves and make such a positive difference in how the team does.”
The match was rarely close against Crestwood, which played hard, but finished at the bottom of the Blue Division standings.
“Age-wise, they might be a little older than us across the board, but our girls have a lot more experience,” said Pace. “And our talent on the outside tips the scales in our favor.
“We’ve worked so hard on our serving this season. We’re confident now when we go to the line and when we do serve like we’re capable of serving, we put our opponents back on their heels from the start.”
The Cougars committed zero serve-receive or service errors throughout the entire match against Crestwood.
GC suffered a rare divisional loss last Thursday against host Romulus. The Cougars jumped out to a 25-18 victory in game one before getting nudged in the second stanza, 26-24. GC won the third set, but the Eagles rallied to win set four, 25-17, and the fifth set, 15-11.
“If we get one more point in the second game, we sweep them in three,” Pace lamented. “That was a tough one to lose.”