Onekama volleyball falls to second-ranked Leland in three sets

Onekama junior Katelyn McGrady keeps the ball in play during the Portagers’ 3-set loss to second-ranked Leland in their Northwest Conference volleyball match Tuesday night. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

Onekama junior Katelyn McGrady keeps the ball in play during the Portagers’ 3-set loss to second-ranked Leland in their Northwest Conference volleyball match Tuesday night. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

ONEKAMA — Onekama volleyball took a hit against second-ranked Leland on Tuesday night with a three-set loss.

The Portagers battled hard, especially in the third set, but couldn’t hold off the Comets. Onekama was able to make the third set interesting and nearly pulled off a win but ultimately lost 9-25, 12-25 and 29-31.

“I was really proud of how they came out in the third set,” Onekama coach Linda Elo said. “They had several opportunities to win the game. I wish we could have pulled it out, but they showed some fortitude, which I was really happy to see.”

The Comets’ offense landed early by keeping the Portagers on their back foot in the first set. Leland led early and was able to pull away easily for the 25-9 win. The second set started the same way, but after the first few points Onekama settled into the game.

An ace from Zoe Morley, followed by a kill by her off of an assist by Hanna Hughes, and another kill by Katelyn McGrady made the game 12-7 for the Comets.

A couple of long serving streaks by Leland helped them pull away for a 25-12 win.

“They warmed up. We got called on lots of lifts, which we weren’t expecting. We just had a slow start. I wasn’t pleased with the energy,” Elo said. “They were some nervousness. They were state champs two years ago.”

Onekama shot out in the third set with a kill by Colleen McCarthy, who led the team with 10 kills and 8 digs, and an ace from Morley to lead 2-0. McCarthy had another killed to go up 6-4, and her play kept the team in it throughout the stretch with kills throughout the set.

A block from McGrady tied the game at 13, but the Comets were able to start to pull away when they led 21-16. Instead of closing out of the Portagers a couple of self-inflicted errors let them back into it, and Onekama pulled ahead 28-27 after another kills form McCarthy. That kill would be the end of it though, as the Comets went on a 3-1 run at the end to sneak out with the win.

After McCarthy’s night, Hughes had 17 assists, McGrady had 3 kills and 7 blocks, and Ella Acton had 14 digs.

Onekama will be back on Thursday at Mason County Eastern.

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Posted by Brian Fogg

Brian is the sports writer for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3110 or bfogg@pioneergroup.com.

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