A composed Mendon volleyball team didn’t flinch when Tuesday’s Class C state quarterfinal match against Schoolcraft was stretched to a fifth set. Then again, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise the Hornets closed things out for a 3-2 victory after a season full of poised performances against quality opponents.
Mendon coach Kathy Trenary said it was probably her team’s toughest test of the year, especially since the two teams know each other so well from preseason scrimmages and the fact several players comingle on the same AAU teams.
The Hornets took the first game, 25-18, before Schoolcraft charged right back with a 25-19 victory. Mendon gained the upper hand with a 25-10 win in the third set and the Eagles evened the match again with a 25-21 win in the fourth. And after being tied at 3-3, the Hornets pulled away for a 15-9 victory in the fifth and decisive game.
“A good game,” said Trenary, whose squad improved to 49-7-2 and will take on Grand Rapids Covenant in the semis Friday at 2 p.m. at Battle Creek’s Kellogg Arena. “Schoolcraft is really good. It was back and forth all the way, with one team running their offense and getting points, and then the other team not being able to dig or to defend it. The next team would be running their offense and the other team would be making mistakes. It was just back and forth until the end. Schoolcraft is just really good and runs a fast offense.”
Beal City and Auburn Hills Oakland square off in the other semifinals match. Beal City knocked off Mendon, 3-1, in last year’s semis.
Loryn Baughman registered 46 assists and 17 digs for Mendon. Jordan VanOss finished with 19 kills, a block and 23 digs, Brooke Howard added 16 kills, five blocks and 21 digs and Alexis Russell put up eight kills and a block. Megann Leighton contributed five kills and Cierra Furlong chipped in a kill and three blocks.
Schoolcraft’s Marianne Douglas recorded 31 digs, Camille Giacobone had 37 assists and both Sidney Haverdink and Kari Feddema finished with 11 kills. The Eagles ended the year with a 37-13-1 record.
“We’re happy we won and had a good enough offense,” Trenary said. “We didn’t serve receive as well as we wanted to, but we came through in the end.”