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Lowell’s volleyball approach lands Red Arrows in different place; Lowell outlasts GR Christian in five sets

The volleyball team that wins set one usually wins a five-set match.

Lowell volleyball coach Gigi Peal adds her own take. “I also think the team that wins set four also wins the match,” she explains.

So when Lowell lost sets one and four and still  won its match against Grand Rapids Christian, 23-25, 25-22, 27-25, 23-25, 15-1, Peal called it unconventional.

However, there has not been anything unconventional about this Red Arrow club’s (22-9-2, 5-1) volleyball game. Lowell’s game has been at a different place.

And yes, an unfamiliar place, the Red Arrows with three league games remaining are just one game in back of the penthouse’s top floor, now resided in by East Grand Rapids.

With a win against EGR on Thursday, Lowell can turn that top spot into a double occupancy.

“East is playing well and we will have to play well to beat them,”  Peal said. “We’re playing with a different level of confidence and success since the last time we met.”

What is it that has elevated Lowell’s play?

“This has been a fun group of girls to coach. They all want to do what’s best for each other,” Peal said.

Not surprising. It’s the same group that selected “I play for her” as its team slogan.  “They’re all doing there best so that other teammates can find success. They’re playing for each other,” Peal said.

So far this year, Lowell has received the play it expected from sophomore, Abby Petroelje; an unexpected level of play it needed from senior outside hitters Stephanie Stevens and Hannah Tawney; and the consistently strong play of its two best players Arielle Nausieda and Jordan Timmer.

Red Arrow success against the Pioneers, according to the Lowell coach, will be dependent on controlling the ball on its side of the net, taking care of what it can control, service and serve receive and not playing timid.

Successful execution will land Lowell in that different place. That most coveted place, with a shot at its first ever league title.