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Five things to watch this week

Tribune Staff • Oct 1, 2017 at 11:56 PM

Grand Haven boys soccer at West Ottawa

Where: West Ottawa

When: Tuesday, 7:15 p.m.

With four games remaining in the regular season, the Grand Haven boys soccer team sits at 4-3-1 in the league and 9-3-2 overall. They kick off their final push to the postseason with a conference rematch against West Ottawa after playing to a 1-1 tie earlier this season.

The Bucs are coming off a 2-0 win over Portage Central, but were hot-and-cold through the middle of their season, going 2-2 over their last four games. The Panthers have battled to three ties and one win over their last four, making them hungry for an outright victory.

Both teams are looking to shore up a playoff resume and find some confidence, with kickoff slated for 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, at West Ottawa.

Spring Lake volleyball tri-meet

Where: Spring Lake High School

When: Thursday, 5 p.m.

The Spring Lake volleyball team has hit their stride down the stretch this season, and will look to prove that Thursday as they host rival Fruitport and No. 10-ranked Whitehall.

The Lakers have won five of their last six conference matchups, pushing them into the honorable mention line of the Class B rankings.

The Trojans have had an up-and-down season, as they struggled to find their identity on offense early on. As their training progressed, a game-controlling, defense-oriented team emerged, launching them into the top 10.

Whitehall is reaching the end of their revenge-tour season after giving up the West Michigan Conference title for the first time in eight years to Montague last fall.

All three teams are hoping for an extended playoff run, but just one can make it out of the district tournament. Thursday’s action will provide a compelling preview of an always-competitive district draw.

WMC soccer vs. Leland

Where: Muskegon Christian School

When: Friday, 6:45 p.m. 

The Western Michigan Christian boys soccer team has forgotten how to lose. After starting the season 2-1, the Warriors have ripped off 12 straight wins over Lakes Eight Conference and cross town opponents.

WMC doesn’t just beat teams, they have made a practice this season of enacting the mercy rule as often as possible, and being sure to get everyone on offense involved on the way.

Over their winning streak, the Warriors have scored 77 goals, while holding their opponents to just six over the 12 games.

Their most recent win, a 9-1 routing of Orchard View on Saturday, clinched the Lakes Eight Conference title. With that wrapped up, coach David Hulings and the Warriors can turn their attention to the tournament.

Leland sits at No. 3 in the Division 4 boys soccer rankings, representing what WMC could face in what they hope is a long playoff run.

The possible playoff preview serves as the final home game for the Warriors, don’t miss a chance to watch this special team in action.

Spring Lake football vs. Holland Christian

Where: Grabinski Field

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

The Spring Lake football team hasn’t had much to celebrate so far this year, but with three games left in the season, it is time to party. The Lakers will host non-conference opponent Holland Christian for their Homecoming game Friday.

The Maroons have been on the wrong end of a few beatings this season, sitting at 2-4 overall, providing a good-looking matchup for a win-hungry Spring Lake squad.

Homecoming spirit, marching band flair, and a possibly beatable opponent are three sure-fire reasons to check out Spring Lake football Friday.

Grand Haven boys tennis at O-K Red Conference Tournament

Where: Grandville High School

When: Saturday, 8 a.m.

The Grand Haven boys tennis team will travel to Grandville High School on Saturday to take on the O-K Red Conference Championship Tournament. Despite high-hopes for their team this season, the Bucs likely won’t make a run at top-team honors, but some individuals are primed to make a splash in flight finals.

The entire slate of singles players for Grand Haven have championship potential, particularly senior No. 3 singles player Riley Wilton, and sophomore No. 1 singles player Noah Bachmann both have dominated in conference play this season, with Bachmann finishing the regular season undefeated in the conference. Both will look to ascend through their flight tournaments to chances at a medal.

Fellow singles stars Spencer Sortman at No. 2 and Nathan Sexton at No. 4 have also played hard with the best of the best in the O-K Red, making them sleeper picks for a Rockford, Hudsonville dominated tournament.

On the doubles side, No. 1 pair Dylan Shenefield and Mason Price own the Bucs’ best shot at a high finish.

While eager to make a splash at the tournament, the Bucs will use the final conference contest as a measuring stick for the all-important regional tournament to follow, as seven O-K Red schools joining with Holland, Grand Rapids Union, Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo Loy Norrix to compete for a spot at the Division 1 state championship tournament on Oct. 12 at the Division 1 regionals in Holland. 

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