By: Seth Kinker, email@example.com
The No. 5 ranked volleyball team in division three, the Manchester Lady Dutch, rolled to a district title last week.
First, they defeated the Grass Lake Warriors on Oct. 30, 3-0 (25-11, 25-8, 25-10). Then on Nov. 1, they defeated the Columbia Central Golden Eagles 3-0 (25-10, 25-17, 25-14) in the semifinals to advance to the district title game against the Hudson Tigers on Nov. 3.
On Nov. 3, Manchester won in straight sets, 29-27, 25-13, 25-17, once again to make it back to back district titles.
In the first set, Hudson took a timeout with the score tied at 22. The Tigers would score the next two points to give them a 24-22 advantage sitting on set point. Manchester would fight back with a kill followed by an ace from junior Kayla Engel. In a win by two scenarios, Manchester fought back to win 29-27.
Senior McKenna Good had a kill to set them up for set point and after a volley that went back and forth, sophomore Kayla Engel hit the ball from her knees over her head and it fell behind the Tigers backline just in bounds.
Manchester jumped out to a large lead in set two and never let up. At 5-0 the Tigers called a timeout and again tailing 15-5. Manchester won 25-13 after a serve from senior Stephanie Messman that the Tigers couldn’t return.
In the third set, Manchester came out hot again, building a 9-2 lead. After a Tiger timeout, they went on a 7-2 run to force a Manchester timeout trailing 11-9. The teams stayed close through the middle of the set with Hudson taking one more timeout railing 19-15. Manchester won the district title on a serving error from the Tigers.
Ridenour let the team in aces (3) and assists (40), senior Jayden Humphrey led the team in kills with 19, and senior Kate Pohs led the defense with 15 digs.
Now, Manchester has a chance at their first regional win under head coach Trisca Beasley, who was hired in 2015. They made it to regionals that year and lost to Riverview Gabriel Richard. Last year, they were defeated by Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central, 3-1 in a first-round regional game that was closer than the score indicated.
On Nov. 6, Manchester will face fellow Cascades member Vandercook Lake Jayhawks, who they defeated 3-1 earlier this season, at 7 p.m. in Springport.
The winner of that contest will face the winner of Bath and Hanover-Horton for the regional title.
Photos by Lynne Beauchamp