Bucs' spikers have positives in their favor for regional road trip

Matt DeYoung • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:48 AM

The pair were key components to the Buccaneers' girls basketball team, which won the Class A state title in a stunning comeback over Grosse Pointe South last winter.

So when it comes to playing big games on the volleyball court — like tonight's Class A regional semifinal game against Traverse City West — the Buccaneers aren't ones to wilt under the pressure.

"Having that experience brings stability," said Bucs' coach Aaron Smaka, whose team must travel to Traverse City Central to face TC West at 5:30 p.m. "We just have a couple kids who have been through it before, and our team has done a good job of staying in the moment, not getting wrapped up with all the other things that go on and keeping our team focused on what's important."

The Buccaneers and the Titans are not strangers on the volleyball court. The two teams faced off at the Fruitport Invitational on Sept. 15, where Grand Haven scored a 26-24, 25-21 win.

Smaka doesn't expect the result of that match to have much bearing on what happens tonight.

"We're obviously a very different team than we were back in mid-September, and watching them on film on Saturday, they're a much better team as well," Smaka said.

Smaka is most concerned with the Titans' pair of explosive middle hitters in senior Courtney VanHouzen and sophomore Katie Placek.

"They've got two very solid middles," Smaka said. "They tend to hit outside, on the right side, and they serve receive. Those two middles are their two best players, their two best defenders. They're both really good volleyball players. They do a good job of getting those two girls the ball."

To read more of this story, see today's print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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