The host volleyball team advanced to the finals of the Sturgis Invitational and fell to Berrien Springs 23-25, 25-27. The Trojans’ Rachel Anderson collected her 1,000th career kill in the process.
The junior middle hitter now has 1,040 and she helped propel Sturgis to its third straight tournament final, which head coach Von Metzger said was “a great accomplishment, especially considering we were without another starter due to injury.”
Outside hitter Hollie Myers missed the tournament with back spasms.
Metzger explained that he had to shuffle the lineup and the girls adjusted positively. Sturgis beat Edwardsburg 25-21, 26-24 and split with Blissfield and Berrien Springs in pool play. The Trojans made quick work of Onsted in the quarterfinals with a 25-14, 25-11 victory and they beat Kalamazoo Central 25-20, 25-18 in the semifinals.
“I am still concerned with our serve-receive issues and I think we need to be more aggressive defensively,” Metzger added. “We are hoping to get everybody back and healthy within the next couple of weeks and that should help us get ready for the end of the season push.”
Anderson also had 7 blocks to go with her 65 kills Saturday. Hannah Marchand pounded 11 aces and Jamie Lioy finished with nine to lead Sturgis in that category. Lioy paced the team with 24 digs, followed by Kelsey Metzger (22), Anderson (19) and Morgan Pueschel (19). Lioy also had 26 kills. Metzger finished the day with 98 assists.
“Well I actually didn’t know how close it was,” Anderson said about reaching 1,000 kills. “My parents and coaches knew I was getting close, so they surprised me with posters for a countdown. It was exciting reaching it as a junior. Now my goal is to break the school record.”
Three Rivers beat Kalamazoo Central 25-22, 25-11, Carleton Airport 25-18, 25-10 and Onsted 25-22, 25-11 in pool play. The Wildcats topped Edwardsburg 25-18, 25-14 in the quarterfinals before falling to Berrien Springs, a team Three Rivers beat in a dramatic five-set match a couple weeks ago, 25-20, 17-25, 15-13 in the semis.
“We played well in the morning, but struggled with serve receive and tip coverage against Berrien,” Wildcats coach Brandy Stalhood said. “We had our opportunities to take the match, but couldn’t put together runs of points. Unfortunately we were in the position of having to come back from behind again, but couldn’t close the gap quick enough. I think if we could have jumped out to an early lead the results would have been different and we would have been in the finals. Overall we had a pretty good day.”
Teagan Reeves had 42 kills, 11 blocks and 28 digs and Hannah Landis finished with 29 kills, 18 blocks and 26 digs for Three Rivers. Carly Nichols had three aces, 18 kills, 7 blocks and 23 digs; Morgan Roderick produced 10 kills, Kalie Cole pocketed 77 assists, Molly Hawkins registered 23 digs and Alexis Herbert finished with seven aces.