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Five Things to Watch this Week

Tribune Staff • Sep 17, 2018 at 12:33 AM

Proximity and familiarity create long-standing rivalries amongst competitors.

That’s the case this week, as conference rivals and local foes compete in high-stakes events that could have lasting effects on league standings, playoff odds and local bragging rights. There are also annual traditions being celebrated this week that have a lot more significance than the final score, as one Grand Haven program puts on its Buc Pride Night event and another will celebrate its program’s leaders for a Staff Appreciation Night.

Here are a few events on the prep calendar that you won't want to miss this week.

Spring Lake volleyball vs. Comstock Park

When: Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Where: Spring Lake High School

The Spring Lake volleyball squad will host only their second home match of the season Tuesday, as they take on Comstock Park in O-K Blue Conference action.

The Lakers are 2-1 in league action on the season and 17-4-1 overall, with wins over Sparta (3-0) and West Catholic (3-0) and a loss to Coopersville (3-0) in O-K Blue Conference play.

Jenna Core leads the offensive attack for the Lakers, while Abbi Perkins and Laney Peasley also attack the net. Madeline Zenas runs the operation from her setter position. Against West Catholic last Thursday, the Lakers recorded a season-high 12 blocks as a team, with Perkins collecting six and Madeline Zenas adding five. Core, Julia Clover and Megan VanderHeide have been the team’s top dig leaders so far this season on defense. 

Tuesday’s match against Comstock Park will be another chance for the Lakers to prove they have what it takes to repeat as conference champions and head into the postseason with plenty of momentum.

Spring Lake soccer vs. Western Michigan Christian

When: Thursday, 6:45 p.m.

Where: Spring Lake High School

The Spring Lake and Western Michigan Christian boys soccer teams will meet on the pitch Thursday in a non-conference clash.

The Lakers are coming off a narrow loss to Grand Rapids Catholic Central last Thursday, and will be looking to bounce back with a home win. The Warriors will hardly be a pushover, however, as the No. 3-ranked Warriors are coming off an 8-0 shutout win over their Lakes Eight Conference rivals from Muskegon Catholic Central.

The matchup pits a stout Spring Lake defensive unit against a high-powered Warrior attack that has seen steady production from its young core of players. The team that is able to establish its style of play on the match will likely come away with the win in this one.

Grand Haven volleyball vs. Hudsonville

When: Thursday, 7 p.m.

Where: Grand Haven High School

The Grand Haven volleyball team is coming off a thrilling five-set win over West Ottawa last Thursday and will have a full week of practice to prepare for the No.5-ranked Hudsonville Eagles this Thursday.

The Buccaneers are 21-7-1 overall and 1-0 in conference play, but will need a more consistent effort against the Eagles if they are going to come out on top. Against West Ottawa, some hitting errors and inaccurate passing resulted in second and fourth-set losses to the Panthers. If the team can shore up those inconsistencies, they should have a great chance of recording a statement win in league play.

Junior outside hitters Ashley Slater and Sarah Knoll and senior middle hitter Avolyn Lepo have led the Buccaneers on the attack, while seniors Ashlyn Hall and Baby Hang, along with sophomore Sam Boeve have been the defensive leaders for the squad.

Grand Haven soccer vs. Rockford

When: Thursday, 7:15 p.m.

Where: Grand Haven High School

The Grand Haven boys soccer team is coming off a 1-0 shutout win over West Ottawa last Thursday and will travel to Hudsonville on Tuesday before hosting the Rockford Rams on Thursday.

The Buccaneers are 2-2-1 in O-K Red play and 5-2-2 overall. The team has gotten solid production on the attack from Charlie VanSingle, Max Jerovsek, Joe Walsh, Jaden King, Gavin Jonker and Sam Scarpino. Senior keeper Brenner Kar has anchored the defensive unit for the Bucs, who will be tested by the Rams on Thursday.

Grand Haven football vs. Rockford

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Grand Haven High School

After a 2-0 start to the season, the Grand Haven football team has had a difficult time during the O-K Red Conference schedule with a shutout loss to Hudsonville (41-0) and a lopsided road loss to Grandville (73-21).

The Bucs are hoping a home game during its annual Bucs Pride celebration will help the team collect themselves and fight with a purpose under the lights of Gene Rothi Field on Friday night. The Rockford Rams will be another daunting task in league play, as the Rams will be fighting for the playoff lives after a 1-3 start to the season.

Despite the losing record, the Rams have recorded an impressive win over Lowell (36-0) and lost a narrow contest to West Ottawa (45-40) in Week 3. If the Buccaneers are going to come away with the win home, they’ll need to shore things up on the defensive end. After not allowing more than 100 yards rushing in their first two contests, the team has been gashed for 257 yards rushing against Hudsonville and 448 yards by Grandville.

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