Portagers, Sabers fall in district semifinals

Onekama senior Zoe Morley (5) tips the ball over the net during the Portagers’ 3-set loss to Pentwater in the Class D volleyball district semifinals Wednesday night. (Scott Yoshonis/News Advocate)

Onekama senior Zoe Morley (5) tips the ball over the net during the Portagers’ 3-set loss to Pentwater in the Class D volleyball district semifinals Wednesday night. (Scott Yoshonis/News Advocate)

ONEKAMA — Two local teams finished their volleyball seasons with two very different 3-set sweeps in the Class D district semifinals at Onekama Wednesday night.

Onekema fell to Pentwater in the first semifinal, 25-27, 22-25, 22-25, and Manistee Catholic Central lost the other semifinal to Walkerville 17-25, 20-25, 16-25.

The Portagers gave the West Michigan D League champion Falcons everything they could handle, but simply lacked the finishing touch in all three sets.

Hanna Hughes led Onekama with 29 assists in the match, Colleen McCarthy had a team-high 20 kills, libero Ella Acton had 15 digs and Elizabeth Domres had 10 solo blocks in the match.

Onekama trailed by as many as four points in the first set, but rallied back to take a 24-23 lead on a service ace by Katelyn McGrady. Pentwater then tied the set on a service error and closed out the set by winning 3 of the next four points.

Onekama head coach Linda Elo said that the set slipped through the Portagers’ fingers.

“We had a lead, but we had a serve that went out, so that let them back in,” Elo said. “That was rough, (Pentwater) is not a team that you can let a point go.”

The Falcons opened up the second set with a 5-1 run and opened up their biggest lead of the match, 14-7, before the Portagers started their comeback.

Hughes served up a late ace that brought Onekama to within one point, 23-22, which drew a Falcon time-out, but Pentwater again closed out the set with the last two points.

The third set went back and forth early, with 12 ties, the last of which was 14-14, before Pentwater opened up some breathing room with a 6-1 run from which the Portagers never recovered.

“I was so proud of the way the girls played tonight,” Elo said. “We must have had 20 solo blocks, their digging was fantastic, it was a fantastic game.”

Elo said that her team improved dramatically over the course of the year.

“I have no players on this team who were full-time varsity players last year, not one,” she said. “They just stepped up tonight, I’m so proud of them.”

Sabers fall to Walkerville

Manistee Catholic Central closed out its 2017 campaign with a 3-set sweep at the hands of WMDL rival Walkerville, 17-25, 20-25, 16-25.

Sabers head coach Taylor Ozimac called her team’s performance “not terrible.”

“I was hoping for a little bit more aggressive play today, but they hung in there,” Ozimac said. “No complaints.”

MCC finished the season with two wins, which was two more than the 2016 campaign. Ozimac said that she will miss her seniors, Sarah Bialik, Johnna Hanson and Elizabeth Nelson.

“We improved by leaps and bounds this year, from the first game to the last,” she said. “Losing three seniors is kind of a big hit when you have seven girls (in the program), but we should be all right. We’ll have a young team, and rebuild from there.”

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Posted by Scott Yoshonis

Scott is the sports editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3112 or syoshonis@pioneergroup.com.

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