By Dave Hart
The Tigers trailed Grand Rapids West Catholic by scores of 5-1 and 7-5, when senior Laura Bouwkamp stepped up to serve for the Tigers.
Bouwkamp successfully served the next five points to give the Tigers a 10-7 advantage. That gave Grant the momentum to pull out a 15-12 victory in the final set and clinch an exciting 3-2 victory.
The Tigers lost the first set by a score of 25-15, then won the next two sets 25-22 and 25-21. West Catholic forced a fifth set with a 25-22 victory, before losing to Grant in the tie-breaker.
The Tigers now move on to play Holland Christian in Thursday’s Class B regional final at Fremont High School. Grant won a match between the two teams earlier this season.
The Tigers won their 50th match of the season, a school record. They have lost 10 matches and tied one this season.
“It was a great match,” said Grant Coach Tricia Schuitema. “It really was a battle. We paid attention to detail under pressure.”
Grant was paced by Kylie Patton with 25 kills while Ashley Herin led defensively with 27 digs.
Sierra Schuitema chipped in with 57 assists and 20 digs for the Tigers and Bouwkamp contributed 10 kills and 20 digs.
West Catholic erased an early 6-5 deficit in the opening set, going on a 6-0 run to take an 11-6 advantage. The Falcons maintained their lead, scoring 11 of the final 13 points.
The Tigers responded by leading throughout the enti9re second set. Sierra Schuitema and Jill Arends had the longest service sets for Grant during the second frame, while Patton and Bouwkamp played strong in front of the net.
Grant maintained its momentum during the third set, jumping out to a 5-0 lead.
West Catholic managed to cut its deficit to two points late in the set, after trailing by as many as eight points, but the Tigers scored the final two points on kills from Patton to give Grant a 2-1 advantage in the match.
The Falcons won the fourth set, setting up the fifth-set tiebreaker. Grand Rapids West Catholic led 5-1 early in the fifth set, but the Tigers rallied with a 14-7 run to take the set and the match.