Grand Haven dominated early, with the Bucs taking the 200-yard medley relay in 1 minute, 56.10 seconds. The team of Kirbey Colella, Kathryn Ackerman, Annah Taylor and Brooke Zellman grabbed the first-place decision by just over one second.
Continuing to bring the heat, Grand Haven finished 1-2 in the 200-yard freestyle with Alonna Clark taking first in 2:02.94 and Katalin Kovach taking second in 2:06.84.
Kathryn Ackermann continued her meteoric rise to the top of the West Michigan swimming community by breaking Grandville’s pool record in the 200-yard individual medley. She finished with a final time of 2:05.75, eclipsing the record by five seconds.
The hosting Bulldogs took a close finish in the high octane 50-freestyle, touching out Taylor to hand the Bucs their first loss. They would not recover.
Stephanie Van Nuil led the Bucs diving team with a third place finish at 210.65 points.
Grand Haven’s next win came in the 100-yard freestyle when Kovach threw down a 57.79, but Grandville’s depth proved superior taking second through fifth place.
Another bright spot of the meet came with Clark’s effort in the 500-yard freestyle. Clark demolished the field with a 5:28.29 finish ahead of Jessica Boyer who was beaten by just 0.13 seconds for second place.
“Alonna’s 500 really was amazing,” said Grand Haven coach Doug Thorne. “She has really taken a step now where she can swim anything and does it well. I’m really proud of her.”
After a second-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay a double touch-out in the 100-yard backstroke sealed the meet for the Bulldogs. Just 0.19 seconds separated Colella’s third place finish from first.
The girls needed a victory to keep the meet close down the stretch. Ackerman to the rescue. The young star hit the pool for the 100-yard breaststroke, pulling out a victory in 1:06.77.
“To go 2:05 in the I.M. and 1:06 in the breaststroke, there’s not too many girls posting those times mid-season,” Thorne said.
The Bucs finished off the meet on a double high note with a victory in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:51.39.
Grand Haven will have their next shot at an O-K Red victory next week when they take on perennial conference favorite Rockford.
GH volleyball falls to Caledonia
The Grand Haven volleyball team fell to Caledonia on Thursday, 3-1. The Bucs won the opening set, 25-20, but dropped the next three 27-29, 22-25 and 18-25.
“Our kids played hard,” said Grand Haven head coach Aaron Smaka. “I was really happy with their energy and effort. We had our opportunities, but we gave up too many runs in those second and third sets.
“Caledonia made some adjusts, and we tried to re-adjust, but we just couldn’t answer them run for run. They have two big outside hitters, and they hit really well. We didn’t play as well defensively as we needed to. They passed better down the stretch than we did. Any time your opponent passes better as the game goes on and you pass worse as the game goes on, you don’t have a very good chance of coming away with the win.”
Olivia Boeve recorded 15 kills to lead the Bucs (33-7, 2-1 O-K Red), while Cassidy Schumacher added seven and Avolyn Lepo and Claire Holman each added six.
Kennidi Bernia led the team with 20 digs, while Ashlyn Hall led the team in assists with 38.
Junior varsity: Grand Haven defeated Caledonia, 2-0. Kelly Olthof and Rachel Hilburger each recorded eight kills to lead the Bucs, while Sarah Knoll added seven kills and seven digs. Avery Strohmeyer and Olivia McMullen each recorded three aces, Baby Hang added seven digs and Emma Martin led the team in assists with 29.
SL spikers’ rally falls short
After dropping the first set 10-25, the Spring Lake volleyball team rallied to force a fifth set, but lost to host Grand Rapids Catholic Central, 8-15, in the decisive set to fall to the Cougars, 3-2.
The Lakers recorded wins in the second and third set (25-23, 25-22), but dropped the fourth set (16-25) before losing in the final stanza.
Senior Olivia Grimmer recorded 15 kills to lead the Lakers (8-13, 3-4 O-K Blue), while fellow senior Isabel Donnelly added 12 kills and three blocks. Sophomore Jencen Sabo also added three blocks and one ace, while Caitie Estep led the team in assists (34) and Carly Bench led the team in digs (26).
Junior varsity: Spring Lake defeated Grand Rapids Catholic Central in three sets (26-24, 22-25, 15-9). Taylor Colquitt recorded 10 kills and 10 digs to lead the Lakers (21-3, 7-0 O-K Blue), while Jillian Gable added seven kills and six digs and Madeline Zenas led the team in assists (25) and aces (three).
Freshmen: Grand Rapids Catholic Central defeated Spring Lake in two sets (25-27, 9-25).