HESPERIA — It was a big day for the Shelby girls’ volleyball team on Saturday.

The Tigers captured their first West Michigan Conference title since 1999 by winning the Rivers Division at Hesperia.

The Tigers began the day with a 25-17, 25-13 victory over the Hesperia Panthers to earn the right to take on North Muskegon for the title, and dispatched the Norsemen in two sets, 25-12 and 25-23.

Shelby had a couple of goals in mind at the beginning of the season – winning the league was at the top of the list.

“We knew that if we got into the finals, we would get at least a share of the title,” Tigers coach Tom Weirich said. “But, for the first time this season, I saw my team have a selfish attitude. They didn’t want to share the title with anyone. They never wanted to walk into North Muskegon’s gym and see a banner on their wall with the same year on it that will hang on the wall in our gym.”

Sharing the title was not an option.

“Co-champs was not going to work for them,” said Weirich, whose team had 21 aces and created a lot of free-ball opportunities.

Navea Gauthier had another big day for the Tigers, pounding down 29 kills, serving up eight aces and notching 20 points. She led the defense with 20 digs.

Audrey Horton contributed 37 assists, six aces and 19 points while Morgan Weirich added 18 digs and three assists. Biloxi Lee chipped in with three kills.

Next for the Tigers is the Division 3 district tournament. They will take on host Mason County Central in the quarterfinal match next Monday at 6 p.m.

White Cloud plays Ravenna in the first semifinal Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. with the winner of the Shelby-Mason County Central contest taking on Kent City in the nightcap at 8 p.m. The championship game is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m.