Playing without their leader on the court, the Buccaneers pulled together and won the tournament’s Silver Bracket.
“We were down 5-1 in Game 1 and a dig was high at the net,” Bucs’ coach Aaron Smaka said. “Abby Cole jumped to attack and when she landed, she fell backward over another player, landing very hard on the wood floor on her back and head and suffering a concussion.”
The Bucs went on to lose to Leland in that opening game, 25-18, 25-22. They bounced back to beat Byron Center before losing to eventual tournament champions Lakewood.
That bumped the Bucs into the Silver Bracket, where they beat South Christian in the semifinals, 20-25, 25-19, 15-10. In a rematch with Class D powerhouse Leland, Grand Haven won 25-18, 21-25, 25-11.
“The team worked together, played with a lot of heart and fought through the day,” coach Aaron Smaka said.
Taylor Craymer led the Bucs offensively with 45 kills, followed by Krysteena Davis with 34. Jami Hogeboom had 89 assists, while Andrea Smith led the way with 57 digs.
“She passed very well all day,” Smaka said of Smith.
Hogeboom added eight aces, while Davis had 14 blocks and Stephanie Sedgewick had 12.
Grand Haven is off until Saturday, when the Bucs compete in the WMOVA Invitational at East Kentwood.
According to her mother, Dawn Cole, Abby’s concussion is considered mild.
Smaka said he hopes to have his top player back in a week, but will certainly take all necessary precautions to make sure she is healthy before allowing her back on the court.
“We’ll go through all the precautionary things and make when she’s ready, she’ll be back on the court,” Smaka said. “As a coach, I would hope we’ll have her back within a week.”
Junior Varsity: Grand Haven went 2-0 at Tuesday’s home tri-meet, scoring wins over Cedar Springs (25-9, 25-10) and Hamilton (25-12, 25-21). Anna Wilgenburg had 13 service points; Rachel Sedgewick had five kills; Ally Knoll and Claire VanWieren each recorded four blocks; Paige Holman and Sedgewick each had 10 digs; and Stephanie Stoepker provided 12 assists.
Freshmen: Grand Haven defeated both Cedar Springs and Hamilton at a home tri-meet. Hanna Rinkevicz led the way with 12 digs, seven kills, five aces and two blocks. Lauren Strong finished with six kills, three blocks and six aces, while Erin Miller added 19 digs. Olivia Buikema had 18 assists, while Maisy Hoffman finished with seven kills, two blocks and four aces.
TROJANS WIN 1ST BATTLE AGAINST LAKERS AT QUAD
Fruitport and Spring Lake squared off with a pair of opponents from the West Michigan Conference in a crossover event on Tuesday at Fruitport High School.
The host Trojans finished 2-1 at the event, with their lone loss coming to Whitehall. Spring Lake also dropped a match to the Vikings, and were swept by the rival Trojans, 25-23, 25-16.
Spring Lake’s lone win came against Montague, 25-16, 25-12.
“We had a tough loss to Fruitport. The games were close back and forth,” said Spring Lake coach Sarah Bulthuis, whose team is 5-4 overall. “We played better in the second game against Whitehall, but inconsistent passing hurt us. I liked the way we came back in match three against Montague and won in two.”
Sophomore Kelsee Zuidema and junior Lydia Suchecki totaled 13 and 10 kills, respectively, to lead the Lakers’ attack. Suchecki also had five aces and 11 digs.
Junior Courtney Kyser led the Lakers with 3 ½ blocks, while Padley Gallagher and Brooke TenBrink each totaled 21 digs. Senior setter Emily Blahnik tallied 28 assists and three aces.
Aside from its sweep of the Lakers, Fruitport also handled Montague in two games, 25-12, 25-16.
The Trojans received a team-high 13 kills from senior middle hitter Autumn Winger, as well as 12 from senior outside hitter Brandie Jones. Jones also served up seven aces, while senior defensive specialist Jessica Meloche added six.
Setter Breanne Bo totaled 24 assists for Fruitport, which improves to 7-3 overall.
Junior Varsity: Spring Lake (3-3 overall) defeated a pair of West Michigan Conference foes in Mason Country Central and Montague, but fell to Lakes Eight Conference foe Tri-County during a quad meet on Tuesday. Becca Brummel paced the Lakers with five kills and two blocks, Macayla Smith totaled eight aces, and Katie Hettenbach tallied 12 assists.