Local Sports Journal

The Spring Lake volleyball team finally got the three-game match it was looking for, but not the way it wanted it.

The Lakers, who won their first three state tournament outings with exhausting five-game matches, dropped a 3-0 decision to Grand Rapids South Christian Thursday in the Class B regional finals.

The Lakers lost 25-9, 25-12 and 25-15.

“They are very talented,” Spring Lake Coach Sarah Bulthuis  said of South Christian. “They had weapons in every rotation. They blocked well. Their setter was very good. They basically caused a lot of chaos on our side of the net.

“We made some adjustments in the second game and executed a little better in the third, but it wasn’t enough. South Christian is ranked fifth in the state, and they are definitely worthy of their ranking.”

Kelsee Zuidema led Spring Lake with 6 kills, 7 digs and 2 blocks. Courtney Kyser added 4 kills, Karley Engelsman had 15 assists and 9 digs while Rachel Pennington had 15 digs.

Spring Lake finished the season with a 44-9-2 record. The Lakers finished second in the Lakes 8 Conference, then defeated Coopersville, Whitehall and Forest Hills Eastern to reach the regional finals.

Their victory over Whitehall gave the Lakers their first district championship since 1997.

“I am very proud of them,” Bulthuis said. “It was hard to convince them after the game that they have a lot to be proud of. They accomplished so much this season. But they were pretty devastated.”