Local Sports Journal

The Ravenna volleyball team is suddenly within striking distance of a Class C state championship.

The Bulldogs fought off a tough Morley-Stanwood squad to capture a 3-1 victory in a regional championship match Thursday in Morley.

After winning the first two games 25-17 and 25-23, Ravenna fell 25-18 in the third. The Bulldogs were able to hold on in the final game, winning 25-21.

Ravenna moves on to Tuesday’s state quarterfinals against No. 2 ranked Schoolcraft in Kalamazoo.

“We just kind of took that fourth set as a fresh start and we really wanted to take care of business,” said second-year Ravenna coach Kim Platt, whose team improved to 33-9. “It was tough, both teams battled back and forth.”

Ravenna relied heavily on its defense, getting key blocks up front and finding the digs they needed to keep the ball alive.

“We knew they’d be hitting the ball hard and we got some good touches on it,” said Platt. “Our blockers were doing a great job and we had some good swings ourselves.”

Leading Ravenna in digs were Audrey Hanson with 26 and Sydney Hanson with 22. At the net, Lillian Lieffers had five blocks and Lindsey Jacobs had four.

Offensively Dana Kass led the Bulldogs with 18 kills while Jaimie Spoelman had eight. Jacobs came through with 33 assists and Audrey Hanson and Kass each had one ace.

“We have a number of girls who can hit the ball.” said Platt. “It helps us because they can’t key up on an individual. Our depth really helps us out.”