Prep volleyball: Hornets, Swordsmen wrap up league championships
Allie Cain of Boyne City had five blocks in a Lake Michigan Conference loss to Grayling on Tuesday. (News-Review file photo)
Pellston defeated Central Lake, 25-20, 25-28, 25-22, to clinch the Ski Valley Conference title, and Harbor Light Christian downed Wolverine, 25-17, 25-16, 25-19, to claim the Northern Lakes Conference crown.
The Hornets, who are ranked third in the Class D state coaches poll, improved to 36-8-4 overall and are 8-0 in the Ski Valley.
It is the second straight league title for Pellston and its 11th since the 2000-01 (winter) season.
The Northern Lakes championship is Harbor Light’s first since 2008, and the first for third-year coach Dora Johnson.
Tayler Friend finished with 15 kills and Shelby Hughey added 14 as the Hornets rolled past visiting Central Lake.
Pellston setter Samantha McNitt finished with 24 assists and a team-high four aces, while Friend added three aces.
Logan Kleinhenz had five kills and a team-high 11 digs for Pellston, while Abby Bodzick added 10 digs, McNitt had eight, and Friend added seven. Emma Dunham finished with two block kills.
Pellston won the JV match, 25-10, 25-19, 15-6. Mackenzie Wright had five kills and Shaylee Smith added three for Pellston, while Breanna Sisman had four aces and Kayla Baker added three.
Hornet setter Abbie Welch finished with 12 assists. Kelly Lewis, Breah Carter and Megan Milbrandt were Pellston’s top passers.
Emily Lechowicz finished with seven aces to lead the Swordsmen to their league-clinching win at Wolverine.
Mariah Lambert added six aces, Mallory Briolat had four kills and three aces, and Sarah Bellmore added three kills for the Swordsmen, who are 16-12 overall and 9-0 in the league with one match remaining at twice-beaten Ellsworth next week.
“I knew with hard work they could do it,” Johnson said. “When they have confidence in themselves, they can do it, and that’s what we’ve been working at, building confidence.
“Our theme this year has been ‘Having the power to do what?’
“Every girl had a power to overcome something in their lives and they all grabbed a hold of it. I think they caught the spirit of that working together. Like tonight, they really spread out the stats. To me that’s great when I can’t find (a star) because it shows they’re really working a team.”
Harbor Light won the JV match, 25-18, 25-17. For the Swordsmen, 8-6-4, Abby Johnson had eight aces, eight assists; Gaby Hickman had five kills; Katie Walker served at 100 percent; and Chrisi Manthei added four aces.
TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City St. Francis defeated East Jordan, 25-14, 25-22, 23-25, 26-24, Tuesday in a Lake Michigan Conference match.
Val Peters had eight kills and 25 digs to lead East Jordan, while Emily Crick added two kills and 21 digs.
St. Francis won the JV match, 25-19, 25-23, 25-16. Paige Poindexter and Katie Spence were East Jordan’s top servers, Kaitlyn Force and Kirsten Malpass the top setters, and Lindsey Graham and Poindexter were the leading hitters.
BOYNE CITY — Lake Michigan Conference-leading Grayling defeated Boyne City, 25-20, 25-21, 25-23, Tuesday in a league match.
“Grayling is undefeated in our league,” Boyne coach Casie Parker said. “They are a tough team to beat. Defensively I thought we played great. We adjusted to their players and kept their go-to players to only a few kills.
“Offensively we struggled. Mary Meyers and Allie Cain played well tonight.”
Kylie Hicks led Boyne with eight kills and four blocks and served at 100 percent, Cain finished with five blocks, and Heather Nichols finished with a team-high 23 digs. Meyers and Hanna Reinhardt added 18 and 17 digs, respectively.
Boyne is 15-18-5 overall, 6-6 league.