Local Sports Journal

When the Grand Haven volleyball team starts clicking, few teams can keep up.

Grand Rapids Northview gave it a good try Tuesday in a Class A regional semifinal match, pushing the Bucs to the limit in the first game and hanging tough in the second.

But Grand Haven dealt with the challenge in orderly fashion and captured a 3-0 victory at Zeeland East High School.

The Bucs will play for a regional championship Thursday at 7 p.m. against Hudsonville, which defeated Byron Center 3-1 in the other semifinal.

“Northview really came to play tonight,” said Grand Haven Coach Aaron Smaka, whose team is ranked third in the state in Class A. “They are one of the most improved teams in the area from the beginning of the season until now.

“I think we kind of settled in as we got going. The second game was tied at 16, and from there on we played pretty good.”

Grand Haven had to fight for a 28-26 victory in the first game, then won the second 25-20 and the third 25-13.

The Bucs used their usual balanced attack to control the match. Autumn Monsma, Emily Lachmann and Amy Kober had 10 kills apiece.

Sophie Newhouse contributed 20 digs for Grand Haven while Katie Cole had 37 assists.

“We had great balance tonight,” Smaka said. “Our team chemistry is great and our balance definitely gives us an advantage.”