SMAC East champion Gull Lake grabbed a home sweep Wednesday over SMAC West second-place Portage Central; 25-17, 25-13, 27-25. The Blue Devil win avenges an earlier best-of-three defeat to the Mustangs in a late August tournament.
Gull Lake never trailed in the first set, jumping to a quick 11-5 lead at the first timeout. Portage Central made it back within three points midway through, but the Blue Devils were able to hold the lead and pull away. The second game started back-and-forth, but Gull Lake lept to a 13-8 lead by the first timeout. From there, they built an 8-2 run to put it out of reach.
Portage Central reversed the trend in the third set, opening with their own 7-2 advantage. The Blue Devils rallied to tie the match at 9-9, but the Mustangs didn’t surrender the lead and ultimately built it up to seven points at 23-16. Gull Lake erased that deficit with a 7-0 run to tie the third at 23-23. An ace on a Lauren Esman let serve ended the final game at 27-25.
Esman topped the Blue Devils unofficially with 13 kills and three blocks. Kenzy Corstange and Savanna Disbrow both tallied seven kills. Miss Volleyball finalist Ryann Jaqua led Portage Central with 10.
The Mustangs fall to 25-15 with the loss and head east to Warren Saturday for the Beast of the East tournament. They’ll battle Lakeview at home Wednesday for SMAC tournament seeding.
Gull Lake moves to 23-10-3 with the victory and returns to action for SMAC seeding next Wednesday against SMAC West champ and top-ranked Mattawan. You can listen to that match via JoeInsider.com next week from Paw Paw High School.