Whitehall downs Spring Lake in semifinals, ready to battle for another district volleyball title

By Dave Hart

SPRING LAKE – District championships have been the norm for the Whitehall volleyball team over the past few years.

Vikings Coach Ted Edsall is proud of that fact, but he doesn’t want to think too much about past success.LSJ Logo incert

He just wants to win another trophy.

“I was thinking about it today (past titles), but I’m so superstitious that I really did not want to look the number up,” said Edsall, whose team is now one step away from another championship following Wednesday’s straight set victory over Spring Lake in the Class B district semifinals.

The Vikings, now 36-9-2, will meet Coopersville in Thursday’s district title match at 6 p.m. at Spring Lake High School.

“I thought they (Spring Lake) played great,” Edsall said. “But we were pretty solid tonight.

“Our first set we never got aced, we missed very few serves and we got a lot of production throughout our lineup.”

The Vikings, the West Michigan Conference champions, had great offensive distribution. Melissa Shoup led the Vikings with 11 kills, Julie Brown had 10 and Brianna Copley added nine.

Brown also led Whitehall with five aces and eight digs, while Hanna Evans had six digs.

“It would be awesome,” said Brown about the chance to win another district title. “We definitely want to make it to regionals and try to make it as far as we can.”

Whitehall never trailed during the first set.

The Vikings jumped out to a 5-1 lead before the Lakers went on a short 4-2 run to cut their deficit to 7-5. But the Vikings scored the next four points and cruised to the first set win.

The Lakers took their first lead of the night at 9-8 during the second set. But Whitehall responded by going on a 12-3 run to take a 20-12 lead and control of the set.

Spring Lake tied the third set six different times but never took the lead. The score was tied 21-21 before Whitehall closed the match by taking four of the last five points.

“Whitehall is a great program,” said Spring Lake Coach Cassidy Hazekamp, whose team finished the season 20-19-1. But looking back from day one I would never imagine that our team would come this far and achieve what we have achieved.”

The Lakers were led by Lauren Helman with eight kills, while Anna Denslow had 17 digs and Abby Moe chipped in 26 assists.

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