Volleyball roundup: Fruitport edges Ludington in key Lakes 8 battle

Fruitport's varsity volleyball team faced arguably its stiffest test in the Lakes Eight Conference on Tuesday and survived - barely.
Tribune Staff
Oct 10, 2012

The Trojans needed five games to outlast host Ludington in a match Bayle simply said “was scary.” But somehow, her squad survived, 25-19, 20-25, 18-25, 25-18, and 15-10, to remain unbeaten in league matches and keep their conference championship streak alive. Fruitport has one regular season league match against Fremont remaining.

“Tonight was a great match for us,” Bayle said. “Ludington is a tough team, they have some big kids that really dominate at the net. We really tried to take advantage of the ball control aspect of the game today.”

Fruitport’s defense was sparked by a regular in the lineup — senior Jessica Meloche’s 36 kills — and a newcomer, junior Alexis Black, who contributed 21. With the Trojans passing being sound, it allowed key hitters Brandie Jones and Autumn Winger to each post double-digit kills. Jones led the way with 21 kills on 76 attacks, while Winger added 10 on 22 attacks.

“Our kids worked really hard and played to win today,” Bayle added, whose squad is 20-22 overall. “We have been playing not to lose a lot lately and have been losing. We stepped up and made the aggressive plays today and got the win. It’s a huge win for our morale and in our conference.”

Janelle Vest led the Trojans with 19 assists, while fellow setter Breanne Bo added 17. Winger and Allison Beckwith each totaled two blocks.

ALLENDALE RALLIES PAST SL

Spring Lake was well on its way to a non-conference win over Allendale on Tuesday, then the wheels fell off.

The Lakers took the first two games against the Falcons, 25-17, 25-21, and nearly pulled off a three-game sweep, but fell in Game 3, 27-25. The momentum then stayed with Allendale, as they took the next two games and the match, 25-20, 15-11.

The loss drops Spring Lake to 13-15 overall.

“After coming out strong in Games 1 and 2, we struggled with consistency for the rest of the match,” said Lakers’ coach Sarah Bulthuis. “We had more hitting errors than usual and we gave Allendale too many free balls to attack back at us. We had our chances to win Game 3 but could not finish.”

Bulthuis was pleased with the performance of middle hitter Courtney Keyser, who Bulthuis said played her best match of the season. She led the Lakers with 12 kills and four blocks. Kelsee Zuidema added 11 kills and 18 digs, along with a stellar seven aces. Setter Emily Blahnik totaled 29 assists, while libero Brooke TenBrink had 31 digs.

Spring Lake closes out the Lakes Eight Conference portion of its schedule next Tuesday against Tri-County.

Junior Varsity: Spring Lake fell to 10-14-2 this season following its 25-20, 25-12 loss to Allendale on Tuesday. Emily Betten had three aces and two assists for the Lakers, Randi Rice added two kills, and Gabi Appel totaled four digs.

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