HESPERIA — Hart went into the first ever West Michigan Conference Rivers Division tournament hosted by Hesperia seeded third, but failed to reach that height at the end of the day Saturday.

Starting out strong, the Pirates defeated Mason County Central 25-16 and 25-15 in the first round. But they hit a speed bump against North Muskegon and lost both sets, 15-25 and 9-25 despite some great digs and effort.

That dropped the Pirates down to play for third place against Holton, and after starting out strong just as they did against the Spartans, they opened the door for the Red Devils to come back.

After winning the first set, 25-19 the Pirates began the second set rather sluggish and wound up losing 24-26.

But the Pirates regrouped to win the third and deciding set from the Red Devils, 15-10 to win the match 2-1 and earn the right to play Hesperia in the third place match.

Struggling to keep the energy and momentum they had displayed throughout the day and would not finish on a high note, dropping the match to the Panthers, 18-25 and 17-25.

Leaders for the Pirates on the day included Kelsey Copenhaver with 15 aces, 21 assists, 11 kills and 15 digs. MaKayla Rockwell contributed 19 assists, 11 digs and one ace.

Also for the Pirates Mariana VanAgtmael finished with 47 digs in an outstanding defensive match, while adding two kills, two aces and one assist.

She was followed by Addi Hovey with 25 kills, three blocks, eight digs, two aces and one assist. Gabby Schmieding had five digs and three kills.

Rayah Helenhouse finished with two kills, three blocks and four digs. Grace Gamble had four digs, three aces, one assist and one kill. Brynn Russell added one kill.

The Pirates finished 6-4 in the conference, and are 26-9-5 overall. They will have a special match Monday against the football team, with the junior varsity playing at 6 p.m.

Hart travels to Kent City on Wednesday, Oct. 26 and Brethren on Thursday, Oct. 27 to wrap up the regular season.