By Dave Hart
Local Sports Journal

MUSKEGON – They say it’s tough to beat a good team multiple times in the same season.

That may be true, but the Ravenna volleyball team proved it can be done.

Ravenna, Class D district volleyball champs. Photo/Dave Hart

Ravenna, Class C district volleyball champs. Photo/Dave Hart

The Bulldogs downed Western Michigan Christian 3-0 Friday to claim a Class C district title on the Warriors’ home court. It was the fourth time Ravenna beat WMC this season.

Ravenna, now 30-9 on the season, advances to play Laingsburg Tuesday in the regional semfinals.

“I am very relieved that the girls played well,” said Ravenna coach Kim Platt. “I was hoping that their nerves would not get the best of them.”

Western Michigan Christian, which won the previous two district titles, closed out its season with a 33-15-6 record.

The two teams slugged it out early in the first game, battling to a 6-6 tie. Then Ravenna went on a 19-9 run to seal a 25-15 victory.

Seniors Melissa McWatters and Audrey Hanson served well in the opening game for Ravenna.

Hanson had three service aces and 24 digs on the night.

“It is honestly amazing,” said Hanson, who said the district title was one of her biggest athletic achievements in high school. “Once we got past the first game nerves the whole team just picked up and went with the momentum.”

The turning point in the match came in the second game when the Bulldogs overcame an 8-2 deficit with a 13-7 run to tie the match at 15-15. Ravenna then closed the game with a 10-6 run to win 25-21.

Dana Kass led the way in the second game with several kills. She finished with 10 kills and 22 digs in the match.

The Bulldogs sealed the district title with a 25-19 win in the third game.

Jaimie Spoelman had a strong third game at the net for Ravenna and finished with eight kills.

The Warriors were led by Ashly Schuitema who had eight kills and 20 digs. Bronte Michura had eight kills and 19 digs while Miranda Shafer had 18 digs and 21 assists.

“Two thirds of Ravenna’s points were on our errors,” said Western Michigan Christian Coach Ed Bailey. “When you make that many errors in a district final you are going to lose.”