Numerous volleyball teams from St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, and Cass counties are competing for district championships Thursday and Saturday. Four area teams took home hardware Thursday evening with two more districts of note to be determined Saturday morning.
District 80 at Kalamazoo Christian
Schoolcraft def. Kalamazoo Christian 3-0 (25-13, 25-16, 25-17)
The Eagles yet again showed why they’ve been ranked first in Division 3 throughout the season, controlling their match against the third-ranked Comets. Schoolcraft never trailed in the first two frames, jumping out to five point leads midway through and growing them from there.
K-Christian had a very brief one-point lead in the third set, but the Eagles grabbed a 12-8 advantage by the first timeout and never looked back.
Miss Volleyball finalist Andelyn Simkins unofficially had 18 kills and four aces for Schoolcraft. The Comets got nine kills apiece by Carley Broekhuizen and Avery Ekkens.
Kalamazoo Christian finishes at 43-3-3, all three losses coming to the Eagles. They graduate seniors Karina Deering, Carley Broekhuizen, Sarah Wenke, Lindsey Dykema, Audrey Batts, and Zoey Williams.
Schoolcraft improves to 44-6-1 and hosts Bronson in Tuesday’s 7 p.m. regional semifinal, which can be heard live via JoeInsider.com. The Eagles have come closer than anyone to ending the Viking dynasty, taking them to five sets in the last two seasons.
Video by Jeff Ryder
District 79 at Centreville
Bronson def. Centreville 3-1 (25-23, 25-14, 24-26, 25-13)
The four-time defending champs extended their postseason winning streak to 32 matches with their road win over the Bulldogs.
Centreville only narrowly dropped the first and rallied from down 24-23 in the third to force a fourth set. It’s only the 12th set Bronson has lost throughout their postseason streak. The Vikings assumed control once again in the fourth to advance.
The Bulldogs finish the season at 40-12-4 and graduate seniors Kenleigh West-Wing, Zoey Lebarre, Jaeden Blades, Hannah Duchene, McKenzie Sheteron, Joanna Larsen, and Isabel Stauffer.
Bronson (51-8-2) meets Schoolcraft in the regional for the third straight season and the fourth time in five years. The Eagles host Tuesday’s regional semifinal around 7 p.m., which can be heard live via JoeInsider.com.
Photos by Aaron Olson
District 115 at Mendon
Mendon def. Howardsville Christian 3-0 (25-3, 25-6, 25-7)
The defending Division 4 champs were dominant on their home floor, getting 13 kills and six aces from Anna Smith. Taylor Heitkamp added seven aces. Julianna Hagenbuch topped the team with 10 digs. Nine different Hornets recorded an ace as they notched 24 total on the night.
Mendon meets New Buffalo in Tuesday’s 5:30 p.m. regional final at Martin High School.
Photos by Nicci Plummer
District 117 at Colon
Colon def. Athens 3-1 (25-19, 25-20, 16-25, 28-26)
The Magi claimed their first district title since 2003 with the victory. They play in the 7 p.m. regional semifinal Tuesday at Adrian Lenawee Christian against the winner of Friday’s district 118 final between Camden-Frontier and Hillsdale Academy.
District 13 at Mattawan
Mattawan def. Portage Northern 3-0 (25-8, 25-1, 25-21)
Ranked third in Division 1, the Wildcats play Gull Lake in Tuesday’s 7 p.m. regional semifinal at Battle Creek Lakeview. Mattawan looks to avenge a regional loss from last season to their SMAC rival.
District 14 at Sturgis
Gull Lake def. Sturgis 3-0 (25-21, 25-15 25-15)
The Blue Devils face Mattawan in Tuesday’s regional semifinal at 7 p.m. from Lakeview.
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District 47 at Buchanan
Edwardsburg def. Buchanan 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-13)
The Eddies face Vicksburg in a battle of Wolverine Conference co-champions Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. from Otsego, which can be heard live via JoeInsider.com.
District 48 at Plainwell
Vicksburg def. Plainwell 3-0 (25-13, 27-25, 25-23)
The Bulldogs battle Edwardsburg in Tuesday’s 5:30 p.m. regional semifinal at Otsego, which can be heard live via JoeInsider.com.