Whitehall’s Autumn Christenson (right) spikes the ball past the block attempt of Hart’s Anna Drenth during a WMC volleyball match Tuesday night at Hart. Whitehall swept the Pirates.
Whitehall’s volleyball team continued to roll this week, as it has now posted a record of 8-0-1 in its last nine matches and is ranked fifth in the state in Class B.
The Vikings began the week by taking first place at the Morley-Stanwood Invitational last Saturday. The Vikings split with Greenville but won their other three matches in pool play over Lakeview, Frankenmuth and Rivertown Christian. The Vikings then beat Greenville in the semifinals and toppled host Morley-Stanwood in the finals by a score of 25-17, 25-14 to take the tournament title.
Vikings’ coach Ted Edsall said it was the team’s first tournament win in three years. Each Viking who served posted at least one ace, and the team ended up with a total of 41 aces for the day.
Whitehall had several statistical standouts on the day. The Vikings’ Miss Volleyball finalist, Hope Rillema, was second on the team in both digs (38) and kills (28) at the tournament. She also had four service aces.
Autumn Christenson was the leading force at the net for Whitehall, posting 37 kills and 12 blocks on the day. She also had seven digs and four aces.
Jenna Pesch paced Whitehall in digs for the afternoon with 40, while Bailey Seeger and Alyssa Myers led with eight service aces each. Myers also had a team-high 93 assists.
Jane Kuipers’ seven blocks was second on the team for the tournament.
Whitehall then moved on to its latest conference match, against Hart. The Vikings rolled past a rebuilding Hart team in three straight games, winning by a score of 25-12, 25-13, 25-11. The Vikings struggled a bit early on in the match but left no suspense in the third game, ripping off the first eight points.
“Our job every match is just to play,” Edsall said. “We try to play the same way for every team.”
The Vikings’ relatively easy win allowed Edsall to make some substitutions and give some backups an extended look.
“We’ve played them all year and they all do a nice job,” Edsall said. “Our back row kids played well and we got to play Bronte Michura up front today.”
The substitutions and short match kept the Vikings from amassing too many gaudy individual numbers, but Myers again led the way in assists with 17. Rillema posted a team-high 14 digs, while Seeger and Kuipers each had six kills to lead the Vikings.
Whitehall, which is now 26-6-1, 5-0 in the West Michigan Conference, will return to action Tuesday night when it hosts the White Lake rivalry contest with Montague.
Cats fall to MCC
MONTAGUE — Montague dropped a tight WMC contest at home Tuesday night, as Mason County Central beat the Wildcats in four games. The final score of the match was 25-10, 25-22, 23-25, 25-12.
The Wildcats were led on defense by Paige Pineda, who recorded a team-high eight digs as well as six service aces. Karlee Koetje was the leading Wildcat on offnse, leading the team in blocks and kills with five each. She also had four aces. Sarah Harrie contributed four kills and three blocks.
Autumn Monette had nine assists for Montague. The Wildcats fell to 6-15 overall and 2-3 in the WMC with the defeat.
Montague played in Saturday’s West Shore Invitational Saturday after the Beacon went to press. Coverage will be available in next week’s issue.
R-P sweeps Union
MUSKEGON — The Reeths-Puffer volleyball team scored its first win since the opening invitational of the season Thursday night by defeating Union in three straight games, 25-8, 25-10, 27-25.
The Rockets had to stave off a third-game charge by Union to secure the win, but improved to 1-3 in O-K Black Conference play with the victory.
Jessica Firestone, Danielle Casey and Sarah Ferenz each recorded three kills for the Rockets, but it was Shelbi Adams’ seven service aces that were instrumental in leading Reeths-Puffer to a win.
The Rockets are now 3-15-1 overall. Reeths-Puffer played Saturday at the Spring Lake Invitational after the Beacon went to press.