BUCS TENNIS FINISHES FOURTH AT REGIONALS
The Grand Haven girls tennis team traveled to Hudsonville for the Division 1 regionals on Thursday against a loaded field of conference foes.
The Buccaneers finished tied for fifth with Caledonia with 10 points, while West Ottawa came away with top honors with 27 points and Rockford finished runner-up with 26 points to also qualify for the state meet.
The Panthers won four flights and finished runner-up in three more, while the Rams also won four flights and finished runner-up in three more. The deciding point came with West Ottawa's two points gained at No. 1 doubles, while Rockford only recorded one point at No. 4 singles.
Hudsonville finished third with 15 points, while East Kentwood came in fourth with 11 points.
For Grand Haven, four flights advanced to the semifinal round of competition.
"We definitely had our chances today, but just didn't come away with enough wins in the end," said Grand Haven head coach Chris Wilton. "With three singles matches directly against Hudsonville, if we had reversed those scores, we instantly would have moved up to third and pushed closer to the 18 points needed to qualify as a team.
"We also were really close to taking a few doubles teams further and, therefore, adding more points for us. The team played hard, and I am proud of the way they not only competed, but also their sportsmanship during and after matches."
At No. 1 singles, Kelsey Lansky was seeded fourth and opened the day with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Betsy Pichardo of Grand Rapids Union in the quarterfinals. However, Lansky would fall one match short of qualifying individually for the state meet, as she fell to eventual flight champion Alayna Bowman of Rockford in the semifinals, 6-2, 6-1.
The No. 2 doubles team of seniors Carley Schmidt and Cauryn Nowicki scored a 6-1, 6-2 win over Jenison in the quarterfinals, but fell in a three-set marathon to the eventual flight champions from Rockford in the semifinals, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.
"Those two played the best tennis of the year in the semis against Rockford," added Wilton. "They won the first set, but in the end, lost in three sets in a high-quality match."
The No. 3 doubles team of Laura Slocum and Ellie Slater had no problems dispatching East Kentwood in the quarterfinals, 6-0, 6-2, but fell to Rockford in the semifinals, 6-1, 6-0.
At No. 4 doubles, Sam Korecki and Sara Hilburger scored a 6-1, 6-2 win over Grandville in the quarterfinals, but fell to the eventual flight champions from West Ottawa in the semifinals, 6-0, 6-1.
The No. 1 doubles teams of senior Audrey Reus and Lilja Plumert won their first match against Grand Rapids Union (6-1, 6-0), but then lost in three-set battle with West Ottawa (6-2, 2-6, 6-3) in the quarterfinals.
At No. 2 singles, senior Alyssa Yeager won her first match against Grandville (6-2, 6-2), but lost to Kayla Wolma of Hudsonville (6-2, 6-1) in the quarterfinals. Saige Sortman (No. 3 singles) and Grace Smit (No. 4 singles) both drew first-round byes and lost to Hudsonville in the quarterfinals.
BUCCANEER SOFTBALL BLASTS EAST KENTWOOD
The Grand Haven softball team lit the plate on fire Thursday in their O-K Red Conference road matchup at East Kentwood, collecting 22 hits in a 13-7 victory.
A five-run Grand Haven fourth inning broke the game open, giving the Bucs the lead for good.
Kaelyn Stafford led the high-octane offense, finishing 4-for-4 with two singles, a double and her sixth home run of the season. Baby Hang and Madison Shumaker also tallied four hits to lead the Bucs.
Shumaker took the start from the circle, allowing five hits and four runs over three innings pitched with three strikeouts and one walk. Hang came in to close out the final four innings, allowing three runs.
The Bucs return to action as they host Hudsonville for a conference doubleheader Monday.
BUCS SOCCER EDGED AT ROCKFORD
The Grand Haven girls soccer team traveled to Rockford on Thursday for an O-K Red Conference rivalry matchup, falling to the Rams, 4-3.
Rockford struck early, cleaning up a rebound for a goal just five minutes into the contest. At the 11-minute mark, they pushed their lead to 2-0, executing a 2-on-1 for a score.
Thirty-five minutes into the game, Alli Keyser blocked a Rockford clear attempt and netted an unassisted goal to get the Bucs on the board. Grand Haven tied the game inside the final minute of the half, as Ellary Bylsma redirected an off-target shot into the goal, bringing a 2-2 tie into halftime.
Three minutes into the second half, Rockford netted a chip shot to take back the lead. At the 52-minute mark, they pushed their lead back to two on a botched block by the Grand Haven keeper.
Three minutes later, The Bucs drew a penalty kick at the top of the box, netting the free ball off the foot of Jennifer Dear to cut the deficit to one. They pressured heavily the rest of the way, but couldn't find the equalizer down the stretch.
Junior varsity: Grand Haven defeated Hudsonville, 3-1. Margaret Walsh, Gisselle Becerra and Madelyn Streng each netted one goal for the Bucs, with assists by Amelia Strohmeyer and Josie Mast.
Laker softball sweeps Comstock Park
The Spring Lake softball team completed their series sweep of Comstock Park in O-K Blue Conference action Thursday. After picking up a total 30-0 win in Tuesday's doubleheader, the Lakers were tested Thursday taking just a 6-0 victory.
Leah Vaughan took the win, throwing a complete game while allowing three hits and striking out 12.
Madelyn Nelson led the Laker offense with four hits and three scored runs, while Alicia Mumby added two hits and two RBIs.
Spring Lake advances to 25-0 overall and 15-0 in the O-K Blue with their 75th straight conference win — all adding up to the No. 3 ranking in Division 2.
LAKER SOCCER TROUNCES WEST CATHOLIC
The Spring Lake girls soccer team cruised to a 7-0 shutout win over Grand Rapids West Catholic on Wednesday night in O-K Blue Conference action.
Junior Taylor Colquitt recorded a hat trick and added one assist to fuel the Laker attack, while junior Laney Peasley scored two goals and senior Emily Batts and sophomore Phoebe Saunders each added one.
Junior Madeline Zenas dished out two assists for the Lakers, while juniors Keara Fritsche and Kate Gilchrist and senior Tia Leary each added one.
Junior keeper Kamryn Lewkowski recorded the shutout in net, anchored by a strong defensive line of senior Lilly Saunders, sophomore Lauren Hewitt and freshman Kate Lewkowski.
The Lakers will host Grand Haven on Saturday at 11:45 a.m.
Trojan soccer grounds Rockets
The Fruitport girls soccer team hosted Reeths-Puffer on Thursday, picking up an O-K Black Conference victory, 4-1, as they celebrated Senior Night.
The Trojans found the net midway through the first half, as Ellie Fisher crossed a pass to Sydney Bol for the goal. Minutes later, Bol struck again, this time finishing a cross from Jaydie Hanks to give Fruitport a 2-0 lead at halftime.
Paige Stanley kicked off the second half with a long ball over the Rocket defense, finding Bol, who worked through a crowd of defenders to score her third goal of the evening.
Reeths-Puffer cut the lead to 3-1 late, before Kylie Oberlin sealed the victory with a converted penalty kick.
"You could tell tonight there was not a girl on this team who was going to let the seniors lose on Senior Night," said Fruitport head coach Jeannie McClain. "We have so many girls dealing with ailments and tonight they displayed the grit and toughness that this program was built on.
"Jaydie Hanks and Paige Stanley played phenomenally. The work they do for us is often under-appreciated, but they give us so much in the middle of the field and tonight was n exception.
"I am so proud of the way these girls played for each other tonight. It was a great win for our program."
The Trojans improve to 9-5-1 on the season and 8-2-1 in league play. They return to action Wednesday as they host Western Michigan Christian.