The Bucs dropped their first game of the weekend to Zeeland, 10-11, sending them to the third place game against Jenison. The top four teams out of the five-team district earn a bid to the regional tournament.
“Zeeland has some really high caliber players, and we did our best to disrupt their rhythm,” said Grand Haven coach William Hamm. “I am so proud of the way our boys stepped up and supported each other. They played as much like a team against Zeeland as they have all year long, with supportive team defense, and an offense that spread the responsibilities out evenly.
“We didn't go deep into our bench, but our bench may have been our greatest asset. The energy from them was electric; they supported, encouraged, and even sometimes coached their teammates to success.
“In addition to a great bench support, our parents and fans were a huge support. The players in the pool could tell they weren't alone,” Hamm said.
The Bucs prevailed over Jenison to lock up the three seed in the coming regional tournament. After jumping out to a 5-0 lead, defensive miscues let the Wildcats sneak back into the game. The Bucs came away with the win. 9-7.
The West regional tournament will be held Oct. 28-29; four of the eight teams will advance to the state championship tournament. The Bucs must defeat East Grand Rapids in the first round to qualify, with a rematch against Zeeland likely in semifinal round.
GH volleyball splits tournament games
The Grand Haven volleyball team took on Rockford and Caledonia on Saturday in an end of the season O-K Red gauntlet.
The Bucs dropped the first game with Rockford in four sets, 14-25, 15-16, 22-25 and 23-25.
“We dug ourselves a pretty big hole in that fourth set against Rockford,” said Grand Haven coach Aaron Smaka. “They made some big plays at the end of both sets to close out the match. Against Caledonia, we bounced back strong after that second set loss and really played some high-level volleyball in the third and fourth sets.
The second game with Caledonia fell in the Bucs favor, 3-1. After dropping the first set 24-26 Grand Haven cleaned up cruising to three-straight wins, 25-21, 25-17 and 25-13.
“We feel like we are in a pretty good spot right now. We have some things we can work on, and this group is really starting to play well,” added Smaka. “We need to work on our consistency in serve-receive and picking up tips. The defense is there, the communication is there, but we need to make sure we always playing at a high level.”
Stat totals for the day showed Morgan Ross leading the team with 39 kills and Olivia Boeve taking the dig total with 33.
Sophia Newhouse dropped a team-high eight dimes from the service line, while Avolyn Lepo took care of the short game with seven blocks.
Katie Cole had her team in good hands, racking up 95 assists over the two games.
“Morgan (Ross) had a great day,” Smaka said. “Sophia (Newhouse) was outstanding on Saturday, especially on defense. Kennedi (Bernia) did a nice job serving against Rockford, Olivia (Boeve) played well throughout the day and it was one of our better days blocking as a team. Avolyn (Lepo) did a very nice job at the net and had a lot of blocks out there.”
The Bucs are in the midst of their final push to the playoffs, the win this weekend pushed their record to 43-9 overall.
WMC Volleyball takes third in Lakes 8
The Warriors could not take charge in their opening Lakes 8-tournament match against Muskegon Catholic Central, dropping the game and their title hopes, 2-1 (19-25, 25-18, 7-15).
“The Warriors came out a bit flat in the first set against the Crusaders at the Lakes 8 conference tournament today,” WMC coach Trent Smillie said. “We lacked aggression on offense and defense until too late into the game. Muskegon Catholic took advantage by limiting their errors in set one.”
With the chance to tie Ludington now gone, the Warriors moved on to play Orchard View for third place. They took the game in straight sets, 2-0 (25-16, 25-18).
Cassie Kingma, Anna Sytsema and Aubrey Goorman led the team in hills, while Ashely Sandin led in assists.
Sytsema also led the team in blocks and digs.
The Lakes 8 tourney brings the Crusaders overall record to 19-18-1; they finished at 5-2 in conference play.
GH JV volleyball sweeps O-K Red
The Grand Haven JV squad cleaned up at the O-K Red conference tournament on Saturday, sweeping all five teams in the end of season round robin tournament.
The Bucs took straight set victories over East Kentwood, Caledonia, Grandville Hudsonville and West Ottawa.
The wins on Saturday brought Grand Haven’s overall record to its final, 30-14.
They did it with strong defense led by Baby Hang, Chelsea Sportell, Dalia Jervovsek and Miya Luckey.
Avery Strohmeyer, Olivia McMullen, Katie Pease and Kelly Olhof led the team in in blocking, totaling 24.
The girls hit .314 on the day, led in kills by Olthof and Sarah Knoll with 12 eac.
Emma Martin and Ashyle Hall shared 90 assists at the tournament while Luckey and Rachel Hilburger commanded the service line with eight aces each.
Spring Lake XC takes tri-city matchup
The Spring Lake boys cross country team hosted their first home meet on their new course on Saturday with cross town rival Fruitport coming to town. Both teams are coming off wins in their first season as part of the O-K conglomerate, the Lakers in the Blue and Trojans in the black.
Spring Lake took the win scoring 35 points to Fruitport’s 43. Whitehall finished in third with 89 points, ahead of Sparta With 101, Muskegon Oakridge at 111. Coopersville, Detroit Country Day and Shelby rounded out the bottom-half of the standings.
The Lakers were led by first-place overall finisher Andrew Hylen, who set the pace at 16:26. Fruitport’s Aaron Simot and Mitchell Johnson took second and third place, clocking in at 16:37 and 16:44.
Spring Lake’s Henok Ghirmay ran a 17:04 to take fifth place, Ben Hylen rounded out the single digit finishes in seventh, just ahead of fellow top-ten runner Cam Thalhammer in tenth.
Matt Schmidt and Matt Vanderwall rounded out the scoring team in 12th and 17th place.
Both Fruitport and Spring Lake cross-country will take on the regional championship meet in Allendale on Saturday.