Bucs' volleyball reaches finals at EK

Tribune Staff • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:46 AM

“It was a really good day for us,” Buccaneers’ coach Aaron Smaka said. “I’m very proud of how the girls responded to Thursday night (a disappointing O-K Red loss to Hudsonville). We did a much better job of taking care of the ball.

“It was a day that saw positive contributions from everyone on the team.”

Leading the way was senior middle hitter Abby Cole, who had a dominating performance with 80 kills, 23 blocks and eight aces.

Jami Hogeboom was also fantastic from her setter position, according to Smaka, with 176 assists, eight blocks and five aces.

The pair, along with solid contributions from several other teammates, helped the Bucs overcome a stiff test in their opener, beating Forest Hills Central, 22-25, 26-24, 15-10.

Grand Haven then got some revenge by beating Hudsonville, 22-25, 252-21, 25-7. The Bucs edged Forest Hills Northern, 31-29, 25-17, in what would turn out to be a finals preview, then edged East Grand Rapids, 17-25, 25-19, 15-13.

In the quarterfinals, the Bucs cruised past Caledonia, 25-7, 25-21, then met Hudsonville again in the semifinals and won a tight contest, 27-25, 27-25.

The Buccaneers then stumbled against Northern in the finals, losing in two games, 25-23, 25-19.

The Bucs are now 29-13-1 on the year.

Krysteena Davis had a fantastic all-around game for the Bucs as she finished with 37 kills, 13 blocks and five aces. Marisa Ejups added 26 kills and 33 digs, while Taylor Craymer chipped in with 24 kills and 35 digs.

Andrea Smith had a strong defensive showing with 36 digs, while Stephanie Sedgewick stepped up at the net and registered nine blocks.

“Abby had a huge day. She was very dominant,” Smaka said. “Jamie did a very good job running the offense, and our team passed well today. We stayed mentally tough in tight games and saw a lot of growth.”

Junior Varsity: Grand Haven swept through its home Lakeshore Classic Tournament on 16, coming out in first place in a competition that featured 16 of the top teams fron the area.

The Bucs defeated Grand Rapids Christian in the quarterfinals, 21-25, 26-25, 15-13, then defeated East Grand Rapids in the semifinals, 25-23, 25-17. In the title game, the Bucs beat rival Rockford in a grueling match, 21-25, 26-24, 19-17.

Autumn Monsma had 32 kills for the Bucs. Rachel Sedgewick added 29 and Paige Holman had 27. Claire VanWieren and Ally Knoll each had 12 blocks, while Stephanie Stoepker had 63 assists and Emily Lachman added 52 digs. Katja Mestrom and Megan Burke provided great serving for the Bucs.

Freshmen: Grand Haven fell in the quarterfinals of the Rockford Tournament on Saturday — the Bucs’ final tourney of the fall. Lauren Strong had nine kills, a block and six aces; Hanna Rinkevicz added eight kills, four aces, four blocks and 23 digs; Lauren Klassen had five aces, three kills and 10 digs; and Jordan Buckingham finished with four aces, four kills and 15 digs. Olivia Buikema chipped in with 14 digs, four aces, three kills and 41 assists for the Bucs.

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