By Seth Vanderwest

WHITE CLOUD–The Kent City volleyball team squared off against Morley Stanwood in Wednesday district semifinal action. The league rivals had met twice before in the 2022 season, both teams winning a match. 

Both teams relied heavily on their hard hitters to begin the match. Lila Hoisington and Alaina Christiansen led for the Mohawks, while Lexie Bowers and Maddie Geers headed the Kent City attack. Kent City eventually pulled away and took the first set 25-19. 

The Eagles jumped out to a 7-2 lead to begin the second set and held the Mohawks at a comfortable distance through the set. Kent City tallied 5 aces in the set to take the 25-13 victory.

Hoinsington came out swinging in the third set to give Morley Stanwood an early 9-7 edge. After a back-and-forth battle, the Mohawks took a 25-22 set to push the match to another set.

Another back-and-forth battle in the fourth set eventually gave way to a 25-18 Morley Stanwood victory. The Mohawks used several well-placed hits to gash the Eagle defense. The backcourt, led by senior Libero Makenna Martin, was also able to neutralize many would-be kills by the Eagle hitters. 

By the fifth set, the tired teams were relying less on power and more on finesse to beat the defense.

Geers used several “dinks” pushed right over the blockers to put Kent City up 7-3 in the decider, triggering a Morley Stanwood timeout. Out of the timeout, Azylyn Scheuneman served up two aces to extend the Eagles’ lead. They stayed ahead, and a spike by Geers sealed the set 15-9. 

Bowers and Geers led Kent City with 17 and 16 kills, respectively. Scheuneman added 7. Senior setter Jacee Hoffman put up 44 assists. 

“I am so proud of the fight they continued to give all night,” said Kent City coach Vandy Krueger. “We did a great job offensively moving the ball around!”

With the win, Kent City advances to the district final against White Cloud. The match is scheduled for 6 PM on Thursday (tonight).