By Dave Hart
Local Sports Journal
MUSKEGON- The Ravenna volleyball team hadn’t played Kent City this season, and didn’t know what to expect from the Eagles in Class C district play on Monday.
They quickly learned that the Eagles are pretty good, and they would have to work to keep their season alive.
The Bulldogs lost the first game, then rallied to escape with a 3-1 first-round victory at Western Michigan Christian High School.
Ravenna advances to play North Muskegon Thursday at 6 p.m. in the district semifinals.
In the second contest of the night Western Michigan Christian swept Black River 3-0.
“They (Kent City) were very scrappy on defense,” said Ravenna coach Kim Platt, whose team improved to 28-9 on the season. “We tried to have patience on offense.”
The Eagles, who ended the season with a 36-8-4 record, took the first game 25-19 with strong serving sets by seniors and Justine Wolter and Brandi Boehm.
In the second game, Ravenna senior Audrey Hanson served six straight points to give the Bulldogs an early 7-2 lead. Ravenna rolled from there, winning 25-15.
Hansen finished the match with 46 digs and two aces.
The momentum stayed on the Bulldogs’ side in the third game. Lindsey Jacobs, Sydney Hanson and Dana Kass each had a strong serving games, helping Ravenna grab a 25-19 win.
The Bulldogs put the match away with a 25-16 win in the fourth game. Kass and Jaimie Spoelman led the way with strong play at the net.
Kass had two aces, 10 kills and 21 digs while Spoelman had 12 kills.
“I wish we could have gone out on a better note,” said Kent City coach Vandy Krueger. “But we did not give up tonight.”
Wolter led the Eagles with 11 kills and 32 digs while Kelsey Krueger had 32 digs and seven kills on the night.
Western Michigan Christian 3 Black River 0
The Warriors pulled off the victory in three straight games, despite allowing Black River to keep the scores close throughout the match.
WMC’s Cassie Kingma and Bronte Michura played strong at the net down the stretch to help preserve the victory.
“We have to hold a lead once we have the lead,” said Western Michigan Christian Coach Ed Bailey, whose team improved to a 32-14-6 on the season. “The competition will only get tougher.”
Black River gave the Warriors a couple of scares in the first two games.
The Rats managed to cut their deficits to 11-9 in the first game and 13-11 in the second game. All three games ended with 25-18 scores.
Michura had 12 kills and 10 digs on the night while Ashly Schuitema had 10 kills and 11 digs for the Warriors.
Western Michigan Christian will take on Muskegon Heights in the Class C semifinals on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on its home court.