Volleyball roundup: Warriors win at Holton

Western Michigan Christian's volleyball team "swept the board' en route to the championship at the Holton Invitational on Saturday.
Tribune Staff
Aug 27, 2012


The Warriors (10-2 overall) swept Newaygo and Muskegon Catholic Central to open pool play, then had to withstand a three-game match against Oakridge.

“Our serving and hitting let us down (in the second game against Oakridge),” said WMC coach Ed Bailey. “You need a good wake-up call once in awhile.”

WMC cruised the rest of the way, as they dominated the host Red Devils in the semifinals (25-11, 25-17), then swept away Montague in the championship match (28-26, 25-14).

Senior outside hitter Rachel Bruinsma led WMC with 38 aces, 128  kills, eight blocks and 80 digs on the day.

“(Rachel) is one of the best all-around players in the area,” Bailey said of Bruinsma, who has committed to play volleyball at Valparaiso University. “She can play defense, hits very well and serves and receives.”

Julie Merz added 26 aces, 36 digs and 220 assists, Maria Ma finished with 21 aces, 64 kills and 37 digs, and Vanessa Eekhoff had 21 aces, 58 kills and 20 digs.


When the chips are down, Aaron Smaka wants his Grand Haven varsity volleyball team to learn how to pick itself up and fight back.

The Bucs haven’t learned how to do that consistently yet, as they settled for a 2-2 record at East Kentwood’s West Michigan Volleyball Officials’ Association Scholarship Tournament on Saturday.

Eventual champion Forest Hills Eastern eliminated the Bucs from the tournament in the quarterfinals, 25-19, 25-17. Smaka felt the match could have had a different outcome.

“I felt we could have competed a little better and we will,” he said. “This group is driven and really motivated. We just have to learn to fight a little more when we’re playing from behind and learn how to turn it around.”

Grand Haven was without 6-foot-5 senior middle hitter Abby Cole, who suffered a concussion last week at the Northview Invitational. Junior Krysteena Davis stepped up big in Cole’s absence, as she led Grand Haven with 31 kills. She also tallied six blocks and five aces.

“That’s the best day she’s had so far,” Smaka said.

Taylor Craymer totaled 22 kills and sophomore Amy Kober added 10. Setter Jami Hogeboom tallied 53 assists and Stephanie Sedgewick had seven blocks.
Grand Haven outlasted both Caledonia and Hudsonville Unity Christian in three games in pool play, but finished second in their pool after falling to Lakewood, 25-12, 25-12.

Grand Haven (8-6 overall) hosts a quad on Wednesday, where it will compete against East Grand Rapids, Reeths-Puffer and West Catholic.

Freshmen: Grand Haven went undefeated at the Reeths-Puffer tournament until the semifionals, where they Buccaneers lost to West Ottawa in three games. The Bucs scored wins over Cedar Springs and Holland. Leaders on the day included Lauren Strong, Olivia Buikema, Erin Miller and Jordan Buckingham.


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