SCOTTVILLE — Controlling the temp of the match from beginning to end, the Shelby girls volleyball team opened the MHSAA Division 3 district tournament with a three-set win over the Mason County Central Spartans, 25-11, 25-14 and 25-12.
Offensively, the Tigers hit .371 as a team with only seven hitting errors the entire night. Navea Gauthier took her game to a different level, tallying 21 kills and hitting .631 to lead Shelby.
“It was a great start to the tournament,” said Shelby head coach Tom Weirich. “We made a handful of mistakes, but we didn’t allow them to compound on each other.
“If we did something wrong, the next play was clean and we never let MCC get on any kind of run.”
The Tigers served at 95 percent on the night, with 17 aces.
Audrey Horton was also one of the Tigers’ leaders with 25 assists, while Gauthier added 18 service points with six aces and Morgan Weirich had 14 service points and six aces as well as 17 digs. Biloxi Lee contributed five kills and nine digs.
“I’m proud of our girls and the season we had,” said Spartans head coach Erin O’Harra. “We’ve made leaps and bounds from our last season. I’m projecting we’ll make even more next year.
“We are losing some amazing seniors. These girls have heart, and have made an impact on our volleyball program and our community.”
Alayna Rafter had a big night for the Spartans, going 6-of-8 at service line with one ace, was 10-of-12 in serve reception, 7-of-9 in digs, was 13-of-13 setting with four assists.
Mikaylah McVicker finished 5-of-5 serving, 8-of-11 in serve reception and 3-of-5 in digs. Wren Nelson was 7-of-8 serving, 4-of-6 in serve reception, 2-of-2 in digs, 2-of-4 in blocks, 15-of-15 setting with four assists.
Tori Dunblazier went 5-of-9 serving with three aces, 5-of-10 in serve reception, 6-of-8 in digs, 19-of-23 in attacks with six kills and 4-of-5 in blocks.
Aylin Davila was 7-of-7 serving and 5-of-6 in serve receive. Charlie Banks was 6-of-8 in serve receive, 3-of-5 in digs, 7-of-8 in attacking with one kill and 2-of-3 setting.
Maxie Green was 3-of-3 in serve receive and 2-of-3 in digs. Riley Mast added 8-of-10 attacks with three kills and 2-of-2 in digs. Grace Weinert contributed 7-of-8 in serve receive and was 3-of-5 in digs.
Shelby now plays Hart in the district semifinal on Wednesday night in the second match around 7:30 p.m. following the Hesperia vs Holton semifinal
The Spartans finished the year with a 14-20-1 record.