Bucks ready for postseason

Pine River rolls to win over Lake City; conference and district tourneys up next

LEROY — Bring on the tournaments — the Pine River volleyball team is ready.

IT'S A HIT: Pine River's Erica Buchner goes up to hit the ball during volleyball action against Lake City on Tuesday. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

The Bucks concluded the Highland Conference season at 5-2 with a 25-14, 25-16, 25-14 victory over Lake City Tuesday night.

“For a senior night, I thought we did a decent job,” said Pine River coach Jana Dennis. “Our goal was to go out and have fun.”

The Bucks will compete in Saturday’s Highland Conference tournament and then enter Division 3 district action at Farwell next week.

Pine River goes in the conference tourney in third place behind Beal City and McBain.

“To have a chance to win the league, we’ll have to beat McBain and Beal City early in the day,” said Pine River coach Jana Dennis. “Our goal is to come in and play strong.”

The Bucks play Clare or Harrison next Wednesday in district semifinal action.

“It’s definitely a winnable district,” Dennis said. “I suspect it could be McBain and us in the finals.”

Pine River fired out to a 13-7 lead in the first game. Jessica Hoaglund served for an ace and 22-12 lead. An improper serve by Lake City produced the 25th point.

Chelsea Nelson served for two aces to spark the Bucks to a 5-0 lead in the second game. She had a pair of aces later in the game for a 20-10 lead. Nelson’s tip and Elizabeth Whitley’s ace produced the final two points for the Bucks.

Pine River also dominated the third game and led 21-14. Whitley served four points in a row to clinch the victory.

“I think we stepped it up on our serve receive (tonight),” said Myriah Holmes, adding that in tournament play, “I think we’ll have to work hard but we can do it and I think we can do well.”

Graduating seniors that were honored on Tuesday were Jessica Hoaglund, Chelsea Nelson and Sheena Vokes.

“Communication and being one on the floor,” is the key for the Bucks to have a long post season, said freshman libero Kassy Nelson, Chelsea’s sister.

Visit the photo gallery to see more photos from this match.

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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