The Lakers went back and forth with the Falcons after taking the first set; they could not muster two wins in a row.
“I’m incredibly proud of the way the girls played today,” said Spring Lake coach Cassidy Hazecamp. “We have struggled a lot with emotional roller coasters during matches. I thought today we were really consistent in the way we played and with our emotions on the floor.”
Photos from Tuesday’s Parent Night celebration
Both teams came out firing in the first set; neither separated themselves before the end. Spring Lake took the win, 25-23.
The roller coaster hit its first big drop in the second set. The Lakers ran into some trouble. “I think it came down to unforced errors, we made a lot of hitting errors at the net, we were in the net a lot, a lot of blocking errors,” Hazecamp said.
West Catholic took the second set, 25-16.
The roller coaster looped the other way for the third set, the Lakers found their spunk, rolling to their second win, 25-17.
The fourth set saw the Lakers get down early and struggle to recover; they dropped it, 25-15.
It all came down to a final fifth set. With all the momentum under the Falcon’s wings Spring Lake set to work in the sprint to 15 points.
The Lakers burst out of the gate grabbing a 5-2 lead and held the advantage through the 21st point, when West Catholic tied the game at 11. They would not regain control, dropping the sudden death set, 15-12.
It was the final game at home this season for the Spring Lake spikers and the last game in the Spring Lake gymnasium for seniors Olivia Grimmer and Isabel Donnelly.
Consistent with their play all season, the two of them led the team in kills, blocks and digs tonight. Grimmer had 13 kills and 24 digs while Donnelly had three blocks. Other stat leaders included Caitie Estep with 44 assists and Coco McKeough with four aces.
The two seniors lamented the loss but have learned a great deal as part of the Spring Lake volleyball program.
“I learned it’s more about the team than yourself,” said Grimmer. “Coming through being a sophomore on varsity, and through junior year I have grown so much in this program. I have a lot of coaches to thank here; they have helped me so much. Its awesome, that’s the only way to describe it.”
“(I’ve learned) to just work your butt off. Volleyball taught me how to be strong and independent athlete. This is a very team sport, so I also learned how to be a team player,” added Donnelly.
“It feels good to be here, it was an unfortunate loss but I fell like I’ve grown in this gym. This is where it all started.”
Both seniors and coach Hazecamp are looking forward to the district tournament, the stage is set for a tri-cities throw down in the second round.
“We are peaking at the right time, we are playing our best we have all season, that’s what we want. We have one more conference game at Comstock Park and then about a week of practice to get ready for the winner of Fruitport and OV (Orchard View). We will be ready.” Hazecamp said.
“We’re fired up, we will be even more fired up for districts after this loss. We definitely want to beat Fruitport,” added Grimmer.
“That’s the most heart that I’ve seen from our team since Fruitport (last time). I think we will carry that through Fruitport,” Donnelly said.
The Lakers earned a bye through the first round of the district tournament next week; they will take on the winner of Fruitport vs. Orchard View match at 7 p.m. Nov. 3 at Muskegon Orchard View High School.