It’s true that there can be too much of a good thing. The Mendon volleyball team isn’t the least bit upset that it won’t see Bronson again until 2014. Like they had in the previous three, the Hornets survived the Class C collision between top-10 teams Saturday for a 3-1 victory and a district championship.
Top-ranked Mendon moved on with scores of 25-14, 25-18, 21-25, 25-15 against the sixth-ranked Vikings. Head coach Kathy Trenary’s squad (46-7-2) will face Concord (38-10-5) at 6:30 Tuesday at Adrian Madison High School.
With Bronson’s talent, knowledge of its opponent and a head coach in Jean LaClair who’s comfortable in a battle of wits, it was a district finals showdown that tested Mendon’s mettle.
“It’s nerve-wracking,” Trenary said of beating Bronson for the fourth time this season. “They have certainly done it to us in the past. Especially with Jean at Bronson, they will keep on trying things and keep on looking at film trying to figure out how to get an edge. It’s hard with her.
“I’m glad we are done with them. I’m glad we don’t have to face them anymore this year.”
The Hornets’ Brooke Howard made things a little easier. The senior middle hitter walloped 23 kills.
“She had a really good afternoon,” Trenary said. “When I look at those 23 kills, I’ve been following teams and their one big hitter will get so many kills, but it wasn’t against a ranked opponent. She got those kills against Bronson.”
Fellow senior middle hitter Alexis Russell pounded 11 more, Jordan VanOss posted 10 kills and freshman Megann Leighton added seven. VanOss led the team with 18 digs, followed by Howard (13) and Danielle Parsons (11). Setter Loryn Baughman tallied 46 assists and Cierra Furlong recorded two blocks.
“This game was a big deal for us,” VanOss said. “We knew we had to fight hard and have a lot of energy In order to win when it truly mattered. We did an awesome job of implementing what we’ve been working on in practice in a game situation. Our energy never faltered and it helped us a lot. We were thrilled with the support we got from our crowd. It’s amazing to see that people came out to support our volleyball team when our community had to be divided to support both the volleyball and the football team (a 13-0 winner over Climax-Scotts in a Division 8 district championship game).”
Trenary was impressed with her team as a whole, but particularly with the way Leighton responded in a high-pressure situation.
“She’s in the front row playing left side, but she’s really a middle,” Trenary explained. “She’s gotten better as the year’s gone on. She’s just been getting more and more [kills]. Right in the beginning of game one and game two she just got kills immediately. She has been doing a really nice job.”