Local Sports Journal

The Spring Lake volleyball team must be getting pretty tired.

But it’s probably a good sort of tired, since they keep playing long matches in the state tournament and keep winning.

The Lakers had to play the maximum five games to defeat Coopersville and Whitehall in last week’s district tournament.

The same thing happened in Tuesday’ Class B regional semifinal match against Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern. The Lakers lost the first and third games, but won the second, fourth and decisive fifth to advance to the regional finals.

The victory didn’t come easy. Spring Lake only won the fourth game 25-23, then squeaked by in the tie-breaker 16-14.

“In set four we really had to hold onto the win,” said Spring Lake coach Sarah Bulthuis. “We were up 17-14 and they came back to tie us at 17. It was a side out game and tied at 23 when we were able to pull out the next two points to win and put the match at two sets apiece.”

Kelsee Zuidema topped the Lakers with 30 kills along with 14 services points, five aces and 14 digs. Karley Engelsman followed with 55 assists, 24 digs, eight service points and three aces.

Courtney Kyser posted 11 kills, eight service points, three aces and three blocks for the Lakers. Rachel Penington recorded 27 digs, eight service points, and seven assists. Ashley Keena and Maya Denslow added 18 and 12 digs, respectively. Bre Burns had four kills and one block while Lydia Suchecki had six kills, nine service points and two aces.

The Lakers will face Grand Rapids Christian Thursday in the regional finals at Hamilton.

Western Michigan Christian and Grant were the other area teams to remain alive in the state tournament. Grand Haven, hoping to repeat last year’s Class A final four appearance, watched its season come to an end with a loss to Grandville.

Grant topped Ludington in the Class B regionals at Gaylord. The Tigers move on to face Cadillac on Thursday at 7 p.m..

In Class C, Western Michigan Christian dropped its opening set to Gobles 25-23 but fought back to win the next three games. The Warriors won 26-24, 25-12 and 25-22.

WMC heads to the regional finals to face host Schoolcraft on Thursday at 7 p.m.

The season came to a disappointing end for Grand Haven, which advanced to the Class A state semifinals last year and was ranked among the top teams in the state this season. The Bucs dropped a four-game decision to Rockford, a rival from the powerful O-K Red Conference.

The Bucs opened with a 25-20 win but dropped the next three games 25-17, 25-20 and 25-8.

In Class D action, Pentwater fell in three sets to Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart, 25-13, 25-12, and 25-6.

Muskegon Catholic Central fell to Ashley 25-15, 25-18 and 25-15 in the other Class D regional matchup.