Host Trojans, Bucs can’t reach the top at Fruitport Invitational

Tribune Staff • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:44 AM

Fruitport swept away Lakes Eight Conference rival Fremont and Dearborn Divine Child in its opening two matches in pool play, then narrowly missed out on a third win, but fell to Forest Hills Northern in three games, 25-19, 24-26, 15-12.

Fruitport (14-12 overall) was then eliminated in the quarterfinals by Mona Shores, 25-21, 25-14.

Seniors Jessica Meloche, Autumn Winger and Brandie Jones paced the Trojans throughout the day. Defensive specialist Meloche had a team-best 25 digs along with six aces, while middle hitter Winger had 17 kills and four blocks. Outside hitter Jones tied for the team lead with eight aces and also led with 29 kills and 25 digs.

Junior setter Breanne Bo had 51 assists and eight kills for the Trojans.

The Sailors were later eliminated by eventual tournament champions, East Grand Rapids, which dispatched of Forest Hills Northern in the championship match.

Grand Haven also went 2-2 during the day, as it was eliminated by Gull Lake in the quarterfinals. The Bucs had leads by as many as three points in each game, but couldn’t put the Blue Devils away and fell 25-22, 25-17.

“We played well and with a lot of effort throughout the day,” said Grand Haven coach Aaron Smaka, whose squad is now 16-10 this year. “We need to continue to work on our ball control. We had a few bad streaks in the games we lost.”

In pool play, the Bucs defeated both Whitehall and Traverse City West in straight sets, but fell in two to East Grand Rapids (26-24, 25-20).

Senior middle hitter Abby Cole led the Bucs with 38 kills, four aces, and seven blocks. Marisa Ejups added 14 kills and 17 digs, while defensive specialist Andrea Smith had three aces and 27 digs. Setter Jami Hogeboom totaled 70 assists on the day.

Junior Varsity: Grand Haven went 1-2 at East Grand Rapids on Saturday. The Bucs defeated one O-K Red rival in Grandville, but fell to another in East Kentwood. The Bucs also suffered a three-game loss to Forest Hills Northern.

Paige Holman had 12 kills for the Bucs, while Claire VanWieren and Ally Knoll each totaled six blocks. Emily Lachmann led with 14 service points, Hannah Landman had 12 digs and Anna Wilgenburg finished with 22 assists.


Western Michigan Christian won two games against larger schools at the Caledonia Elite Tournament on Saturday, which was won by East Kentwood.

The Warriors opened pool play with a pair of impressive victories, as they took down the host Fighting Scots and then outlasted West Ottawa in three games, 27-25, 7-25, 16-14.

WMC’s pool play losses were to tournament runner-up Grand Rapids Christian in three games, as well as a three-game setback to Thornapple Kellogg. The Warriors were then knocked out of the tournament by Wayland in a sweep, 25-18, 25-17.

Setter Julie Merz had a tremendous day for WMC, leading the team with 11 aces, 104 assists, and contributing 21 digs.

Senior Rachel Bruinsma had a whopping 70 kills at the tournament, along with 27 digs. Vanessa Eekhoff and Marisa Ma added 27 and 21 kills, respectively.

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