In pool play, the Warriors defeated Zeeland West (25-19, 25-10) and Ravenna (25-19, 19-25, 15-11).
The Warriors faced Zeeland West again in the semifinals, falling behind 12-6, but managing to tie it up at 20 before losing 25-23. They roared back in the second game, defeating Zeeland 25-10 before disposing of them in the final game 17-15.
In the first set of the championship match with host Spring Lake, the game was tied 22-22, before the Warriors scored three straight points to win 25-22. WMC trailed early in the second set but tied it up at 21-21 before winning again by the score of 25-22.
"I was very proud of our attitude today," WMC coach Ed Bailey said. "We never backed down."
Of the three championships in the last three weeks, Bailey said, "This one meant the most because it was the hardest to win. I thought we were going home before the finals a couple of times."
WMC’s Maria Ma had 101 kills, 33 digs, seven aces and seven blocks. Anna Sweetman chipped in with 25 digs and five aces. Ashley Schuitema added 32 digs, 14 kills and 11 aces for the Warriors.
The Spring Lake volleyball team went 4-0 in pool play leading up to its finals match against the Warriors. The Lakers defeated Muskegon Catholic Central (25-20, 25-14), Reeths Puffer (25-15, 25-17) and Ravenna (25-15, 22-25, 15-4), before beating the Bulldogs again in the semifinals (25-17, 25-22).
“Overall (we) had a good day,” said coach Sarah Bulthuis. “We lost to a good team in the finals. We had some line up changes due to injuries.
“I was very pleased with the girls that stepped up and had to perform today. I felt like the chemistry on the court today was very good. My setter did a great job of mixing up the offense and our passing was very consistent. Defensively we are improving with every game. Senior libero Rachel Pennington had a great defensive passing day.”
Pennington led the way for the Lakers with 91 digs and three aces.
Junior Kelsee Zuidema showed her versatility with 59 kills, 40 digs and seven aces.
Karley Engelsman pitched in with 134 assists, 28 digs and eight blocks.
Spring Lake is now 22-6-2 overall.
JUNIOR VARSITY: The Warriors had three close matches Saturday at the Mona Shores Invitational. They lost to Shelby (25-17, 25-14), Reeths-Puffer (25-18, 25-21) and Fruitport (25-23, 25-17).
GH, SL runners compete at Portage Invitational
The Grand Haven boys cross country team took a step forward on Saturday, finishing in the top 20 at the Portage Invitational.
The competition is considered by many to be the unofficial mid-season state meet.
Taking out one team from Ohio, the boys finished 18th out of the 37 Division I schools competing.
After finishing 16th with 445 points last year, the Bucs were not far off that mark this season. They came in with a total of 468.
“Our goal was to finish in the top 20 this year and we slid in there,” said coach John Tarr. “The guys did a great job getting into position to score well. We practiced this during the week and they did well with it.”
Turner Sale finished first for the boys with a time of 17 minutes, one second, which was good for 54th overall.
Also scoring for the Bucs were Andrew Tafelski (17:38), Kyle Funk (17:34), John Miles (17:36), and Nick Johnson (17:39). Jordan Diephouse (17:48), and Brent Peterson (17:51) rounded out the varsity seven.
“Turner ran a great race today. He got out a little faster than we wanted, but he held in there tough. If we can get our (No.) 2-7 guys within 10 seconds of him, we are going to finish the season in a great fashion.”
The Grand Haven girls cross country squad finished 11th out of 32 teams in the Division I race.
Claire Borchers finished 18th overall with a time of 18 minutes, 59 seconds. Roxy Glasser (19:57), Hannah Kenny (20:24), and Lanie Kenny (20:41) all had season bests on the day.
“All seven varsity girls worked together showed a lot of focus coming into this race, which was a concern because of the homecoming festivities going on throughout the week,” said coach Scott Przystas. “We are making progress and with three weeks until regionals we are getting better each race.”
The Spring Lake boys cross country team was also at the meet, coming in 23rd.
Lukas Piekarski was the fastest runner for the Lakers, finishing with a time of 17 minutes, 50 seconds.
Piekarski was followed by Will Warmoth (17:53), Connor Bolthouse (17:57), Matt Hulet (18:05), Noah Rick (18:09), Will Morrison (18:09) and
Matt Schmidt (18:55).
“The boys ran well today,” said coach Greg Brown. “They finished as a tight pack. Five of the seven runners had career personal records. All of the athletes ran their best times of the season.”
JV: In the JV race Joe Sherman (17:37), Zach Duff (17:50), Austin Bessinger (17:57), and Gerrit Knopf (18:16) all medaled for the Buccaneers.
Zoe McGregor and Eliza Lowe medaled and finished 18th and 19th respectively to lead the JV Lady Bucs.
Middle School: Grand Haven finished seventh overall in the middle school race the boys, tying the 2007 team for the best finish ever at Portage.
The Bucs were led with a third-place finish by eighth-grader Jack Nicholson, who ran a time of eight minutes, 34 seconds on the 2.5K course. The finish placed him on the top 20 list of all-time runners at Portage.
Also placing for the middle school boys were Aaron Hughes (9:07), Sam Missel (9:22), Mason Mahacek (9:22) and Sam Braak (10:07).
Grand Haven tennis finishes fourth at conference tourney
The Grand Haven boys varsity tennis team finished fourth at the O-K Red Conference Tournament on Saturday in Rockford.
Masato Arima (No. 3 Singles), Varun Biddanda (No. 4 Singles), Reid Murphy and Evan Miller (No. 2 Doubles) all finished second on the day in their flights.
“We only had one seeded player going into the tournament, so this is a good sign, having three flights make it to the finals,” coach Jeremy Case said. “We continue to improve. We still have work to do and will do so. Three teams are in front of us and if we want to go further this season we are going to need a solid day on Thursday at the MHSAA Division 1 Regional Tournament. We are going to need everyone to step up. We are (also) going to need a good draw. Most importantly, we need to get in front of either Grandville, Rockford, or West Ottawa.”
WMC Soccer Defeats MCC
Three goals in just over two minutes early in the game Saturday propelled Western Michigan Christian to a 5-1 win over cross-town rival Muskegon Catholic Catholic Central.
The Warriors showed their depth, with Ben Mast, Chase Schuiteman,Will Deur, Dylan Mines, Alex Rop all scoring giaks.
WMC had an 18-5 advantage in shots.
“We had a really quick start with three goals in the first eight minutes, said WMC coach David Hulings. “It was nice to see the boys gel a little, especially on the attack. It became less about ‘who’ scores and rather ‘how many’ were included in the attacks.”
The Warriors record now stands at 8-7-1.