PREP ROUNDUP: Manistee girls golf season ends with regional tiebreaker

Manistee’s Noelle Fink runs during the Chris Grabowski Memorial cross country meet at Manistee High School Thursday. Fink finished second overall to lead the Chippewas to victory in the girls race. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

Manistee’s Noelle Fink runs during the Chris Grabowski Memorial cross country meet at Manistee High School Thursday. Fink finished second overall to lead the Chippewas to victory in the girls race. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

HARBOR SPRINGS — It was deja-vu all over again for Manistee girls golf, which ended the 2017 season in a heartbreaking fashion on Thursday at the regional finals on the Harbor Springs Golf and Country Club.

The Chippewas tied for third place with Traverse City St. Francis with a team score of 422. Unfortunately for Manistee the tiebreaker was the fifth golfer’s score, where the Gladiators had the low score.

It was the second consecutive year St. Francis edged Manistee for a spot at the state finals. Last year, the Gladiators took third place by just three strokes as a team.

Harbor Springs won with a 368 and Charlevoix took second with a 418.

Alice Fink-Jensen led Manistee and medaled at the event with an 83. She will advance to the state finals on Friday, October 20 at Forest Akers East in East Lansing. She won the regional by six strokes.

“She played well. Her putting wasn’t there, so she could have easily been in the 70’s,” Manistee coach Bridget Warnke said. “Their greens were different. It’s a tough course too.”

Following Jensen for the Chippewas were Katie Huber with a 108, Tiffany Elo with a 112 and Sara Thompson with a 119. Lily Sandstedt was the fifth scorer with a 131, while the fifth Saint Francis golfer shot a 126.

“We had some very upset bodies in the van. I told them not to blame themselves. It is what it is,” Warnke said. “Things happen. As far as I’m concerned, we tied for third. It could have been my fault for giving bad advice on a shot.”

Onekama volleyball rolls over MCE in 3 sets

CUSTER — Onekama looks more than ready for the home stretch of its Northwest Conference volleyball season and beyond after cruising past Mason County Eastern in three sets in their non-league match Thursday.

The Portagers downed the Cardinals 25-7, 27-25, 25-19, in a match that gave Onekama head coach Linda Elo a chance to get some playing time to several key reserves in the last two sets.

“I call those development games,” Elo said. “It was a good night for everybody on the team.”

Hanna Hughes dished out 20 assists in the match, Colleen McCarthy recorded 15 kills, Katelyn McGrady had three solo blocks and Hope Showalter had an incredible run from the service line in that lopsided first set, serving 14 points in a row for the Portagers.

Elo said that her reserves made the most of their playing time in the match.

“They stayed in system, they had some good attacks, so it was really refreshing to see them come right in and keep the rhythm with the players,” she said. “It was awesome.”

Next up for Onekama is a key league match at Benzie Central on Tuesday, Oct. 17. The winner will finish fourth in the final Northwest Conference standings, in the top half of the league.

Bear Lake volleyball downs Marion in 4 sets

BEAR LAKE — Bear Lake generated a bit of momentum going into Saturday’s West Michigan D League championship tournament with a strong 4-set win in a non-league natch against Marion Thursday night.

The Lakers defeated the Eagles by scores of 25-11, 25-22, 18-25, and 25-20.

Olivia Hejl had 24 assists and 4 digs for the Lakers, Alexis Juarez had 13 points, 6 aces, 18 attacks, 12 kills and 8 digs, Abby Cross had 10 points, 4 aces, 12 attacks, 6 kills and 8 digs and Kaitlynn Omar had 4 points, 11 attacks, 6 kills, and 2 block in the match.

“They played the prettiest ball of the season,” Bear Lake coach Renee Mallison said. “Coverage was there, setting was there, hitting was there, and serving too. They were looking for the holes on the floor and found them tonight.”

Manistee, Bear Lake run at Grabowski Memorial meet

MANISTEE — With regionals rapidly approaching, Manistee and Bear Lake took to the trails at Thursday’s Chris Grabowski Memorial Cross-Country Invitational.

The event is put on by the family of Chris Grabowski, who was a former Manistee harrier. His time of a 16:53 at the 1996 state finals is still one of the top finishes for a Manistee runner at the state finals. Grabowski passed away at 22 years old in 2001.

The Manistee girls took first place with a team score of 76, while Bear Lake took fourth at 93.

Manistee’s Noelle Fink led the way on the girls’ side by finishing second overall with a 21:05.28.

Erin Dorn followed her in seventh at 22:35, Olivia Holtgren was 13th at 23:14, Kendahl Wright was 16th at 23:28.56, and Taylor Murray rounded out the scoring in 32nd at 24:52.17.

“I was really impressed with how fast they ran on their home course. It’s one of the toughest courses we run all season,” Manistee coach Andy Anderson said. “Their times are right where I want them to be on a tough course. When we get to regionals at Benzie, we’re hoping all of these tough courses will really help them.”

The Lakers were led by Elizabeth Belinsky in eighth at 22:53.31, Emilee MacPherson was ninth at 22:58.30, Yuki Babinec was 17th at 23:34.27, Faith Corey was 24th at 24:03.86 and Hayley May rounded out the scoring in 25th at 24:04.40.

On the boys’ side Bear Lake finished second with a 66 and Manistee was sixth at 140.

Laker harrier Gary McBride finished third at 17:33.89, Kaiden Hejl was fifth at 18:04.28, Trey Gilbert was 10th at 18:47.26, Luca Leffew was 25th at 19:49.30 and Lane Lee was 27th at 19:54.55.

“The big thing for us to keep working on is getting our back-end guys closer. We’ve been two to two and a half minutes from 1 to 5, and today it was probably less than two minutes,” Bear Lake coach Tony Shrum said.

The Chippewas were led by Elliot Kamaloski in seventh at 18:31.08, Ransom Hoeflinger was 22nd at 19:35.45, Declan McCann was 33rd at 20:15.37, Bishop Davis was 43rd at 20:32.68 and Evan Bauman was 44th at  20:44.28.

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