Spring Lake volleyball team wins big on Staff Appreciation Night

Duncan MacLean • Updated Oct 12, 2016 at 12:10 AM

The Spring Lake volleyball team held their first annual staff and teacher appreciation night prior to their three-set victory over Sparta, Tuesday.

The girls selected teachers or staff members from around the district who have made an impact on their life over the course of their education. Each player and their mentor were introduced and paraded onto the court before the match began.

“It is really cool to be able to honor the teachers that are a big part of these girls’ lives and helped them to be successful on the court,” said Spring Lake coach Cassidy Hazecamp. “They picked a teacher that has had an impact on their life. We had almost one teacher from every building in the Spring Lake district, even elementary schools. It was very cool.”

In addition to the appreciation night, the girls were sporting pink jerseys for breast cancer awareness month.

Following the ceremony, the girls had a game to play.

The Lakers (12-15 overall, 5-4 O-K Blue) took out the Spartans (1-9 overall, 1-5 O-K Blue) in straight-sets, 25-14, 25-17 and 25-14.

Defense was the name of the game on Tuesday, as the Lakers were able to return the ball with skill and precision, avoiding mistakes on their side of the net. Spring Lake never trailed by a significant margin.

Sophomore Jenna Core led the Lakers from the service line with five aces on the night. Senior Olivia Grimmer continued her role as lead striker with a team-high 15 kills and 10 digs, followed in kills by junior Lauren Hellman with seven and in digs by Malea Tanner with eight.

Hellman also took charge at the net with a team-leading three blocks, while Caitie Estep racked up her customarily team-leading 40 assists.

“We had really great stats tonight,” Hazecamp said of her team’s performance. “Our serve-receive was really great. We often struggle in serve-receive and that was one of our strengths tonight. It was nice to see them preform well in that area tonight.”

The win on Tuesday lifts the Lakers above .500 in the O-K Blue Conference coming into the final stretch of the season.

“We are kind of right in the middle of the pack for the conference. Every win that we get progressing towards the top helps our confidence for the end of the season,” coach Hazecamp added.

The Lakers sit at fourth in the O-K Blue behind Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Coopersville and Grand Rapids West Catholic. Sparta occupies the bottom spot in the conference.

With three games in conference remaining, the girls will look to shore up their game for a run in the district tournament.

The Lakers return to the court for a date at Coopersville. They then return for their final home game of the season against West Catholic on Oct. 18.

Junior varsity: Spring Lake defeated Sparta in two games (25-19, 25-22). Abbi Perkins recorded 10 kills and three blocks to lead the Lakers (30-3, 9-0 O-K Blue), while Taylor Colquitt added five kills and three aces. Kamryn Lewkowski led the team with eight digs, while Madeline Zenas had 24 assists and three aces.

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