By Dave Hart
Whether it ends up in a championship is anyone’s guess.
The Trojans, whose conference title hopes took a hit last week after a four-set loss to Jenison, bounced back on Tuesday with a 3-0 sweep over Mona Shores in a conference match at Fruitport High School.
Set scores were 25-15, 25-20 and 25-15.
Fruitport improved to 17-16 overall and 7-3 in conference play. Mona Shores dropped to 18-14 overall and 7-2 in the league.
Both teams remain very much in the hunt in the O-K Black, where no team has run away in the standings.
If Fruitport can get at least a share of the title, it will have the rare distinction of winning championships in two different conferences in two straight seasons. The Trojans won the Lakes 8 Conference title last year.
“It’s like a mess right now, to be honest,” said Fruitport Coach Nicole Bayle, regarding the conference race. “If we win our final league matches we have a chance to be at the top tier of the conference.”
In the meantime, Bayle was excited about the way her team played against the cross-town rival Sailors on its home court.
“Our kids have done a good job embracing the environment at home matches,” Bayle said. “I felt that we put the whole thing together today.
“The barn here gets loud, which is exciting and it brings a lot of adrenaline and intensity and our kids embrace that.”
Fruitport’s victory was a complete team effort, with Katie Veihl leading the way with nine kills and 13 digs.
Ally German and Kylie Oberlin added nine kills for the Trojans while Jordyn Carlyle had eight.
Defensively for the Trojans, Kelsie Schultz and Rebekah Busscher each had 10 digs, while Lyndsey Ball had eight digs to go along with her team-leading two aces.
Kailey Carmean chipped in 42 assists for Fruitport.
The Trojans took control of the first set with the score tied 5-5, going on a 15-5 run to take a 20-10 advantage.
Fruitport’s Schultz,Carmean and Lyndsey Ball each had long service runs during the tear, while Kylie Oberlin played strong in front of the next.
The second set remained close until Fruitport took advantage of Mona Shores mistakes to break a 9-9 tie with an 11-6 run to take a 20-15 advantage.
The Trojans started the third set by going on a 9-2 run, built its lead to 19-9 and never let the Sailors recover.
“Fruitport did a lot of the right things and we made a lot of errors,” said first-year Mona Shores Coach Jim VanderWall. “We try to train our ladies to never give up and fight adversity, and they did that, but it did not roll our way today.”
Madison Dunn led Mona Shores with 11 kills and three blocks. Haley Gartland added 17 digs and Kaitlin Hermanson chipped in 22 assists for the Sailors.