Grand Haven’s varsity volleyball team made a statement at Tuesday’s home quad meet, but it wasn’t the message coach Aaron Smaka was looking for.
The Buccaneers went 1-2 at the meet, defeating Grand Rapids West Catholic (25-7, 24-26, 15-9) before losing to East Grand Rapids (25-19, 25-23) and Forest Hills Central (21-25, 25-23, 17-15).
The Bucs were without a pair of key players as setter Jami Hogeboom sat with the flu and Amy Kober nursed a sore knee.
Smaka wasn’t making excuses.
“We controlled all of those games up until we were within three points of winning,” he said of the close losses to EGR and FHC. “But then we went through a spurt where we failed to put our opponent away, and all of a sudden, the game’s tied up.
“We had a chance to really make a statement tonight about who we are and what we can do. It’s not like we can’t get there. We can learn from this. But closing out your opponents when you’re in control of a game, at that point, you have to finish.”
The Bucs received several solid contributions, including a great showing by Paige VanOordt, who took over setting duties and finished with 55 assists, six blocks and three aces.
“Paige stepped in and did an unbelievable job of running our offense,” Smaka said. “She’s been our backup setter the last two years, and I’m very proud of how she played. Rachel Sedgesick did a great job playing defense, and Veronica Booth stepped in and did a great job tonight stabilizing our offense.”
Emily Lachmann played great defense and also served well with six aces and 27 points to go along with 16 digs.
Krysteena Davis and Autumn Monsma each had 18 kills, while Ally Knoll and Taylor Craymer added 13 kills each. Davis also had 11 blocks.
Sedgesick had a team-high 31 digs to go with 15 service points, while Booth also had 15 points. Craymer added 23 digs for the Bucs, who fall to 19-10 on the year.
HOGEBOOM, DAVIS NAMED MISS VOLLEYBALL FINALISTS
The Buccaneers have had two players named as finalists for the Miss Volleyball Award in program history — Abby Cole, who finished runner up last fall, and Kelly Hogan in 2006.
This year, a pair of Buccaneers, seniors Hogeboom and Davis — are among 10 finalists for the award.
Players from across the state are nominated, and a panel of coaches reviews their credentials and votes for 10 finalists.
“It’s great for the athletes, great for our team, great for our program,” Smaka said. ‘Jami is a 4-year varsity starter at setter and Krysteena’s a 3-year starter at middle. The success the team’s had plays into it, but they’ve both worked very hard.”