By: Seth Kinker, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Manchester Volleyball Team participated in the Cascades conference tournament last Thursday, but not before wrapping up their regular season.
First was a 3-0 sweep of Columbia Central on Oct. 19, 25-17, 25-12, and 25-14.
Then on Oct. 21 they finished with a tournament hosted by Lenawee Christian. They entered bracket play in third place, after tying with Summerfield (25-20, 16-25) and Lenawee Christian (25-19, 18-25) in pool play and beating Whiteford (25,10, 25-19) in pool play. They then proceeded to beat Clinton (25-20), Lenawee Christian (25-12, 25-19) and Camden (25-11, 26-24) to win first in the tournament.
In a consistent season trend, the Lady Dutch made a lot of comebacks on Saturday, Oct. 21.
“For whatever reason they like digging out of holes and they did it all day on Saturday,” said Manchester head coach Trisca Beasley. “Every single game we played we played out of a hole, I guess they’re just making it exciting. I think we start rough and we turn it around.”
On Thursday, Manchester entered the tournament as the no. 2 seed behind Hanover-Horton. Although the two teams had the same amount of points, Hanover-Horton earned the higher seed due to winning the head to head contest.
The #2 Lady Dutch opened with #7 East Jackson and won 2-0 (25-7, 25-16). In the semi-finals the Lady Dutch played #3 Vandercook Lake and again won 2-0 (25-18, 25-13).
In the championship match the Lady Dutch challenged the #1 Hanover-Horton Comets for the title and came away victorious, 2-0 (26-24, 25-23).
In the first set the Lady Dutch came back late and after a timeout down, 23-21 they came away, winning the set 26-24.
In the winning set the Lady Dutch opened a huge lead before the Comets crept their way back in, after a timeout late in the set the Lady Dutch finished the game on a kill from sophomore Kayla Engel.
Junior Jayden Humphrey (9.3), Engel (6.3) and junior Avery Collins (5.7) led the team in average kills over the tournament.
Junior Stephanie Messman (6.7) and freshman Kayla Ridenour (12.7) led the team in average assists per game as well.
The win gave Beasley a conference title in two of three years, including back to back years, after losing seven seniors from last year’s team.
After dropping their season match in a close five game set, Beasley knew her team could beat the Comets.
“I think that the first game we just got a little slow, transitioning and covering,” said Beasley. “They beat us on tips – it wasn’t that they beat us on hard hits. It’s been one of our weaknesses so they know that and used it to their advantage. This time we covered better, we’re moving better.”
The Lady Dutch play Sand Creek in the first round of district play on 10/30.