Niles volleyball earn honorable mention spotPublished 9:45pm Monday, September 24, 2012
First-year Niles volleyball coach Jenny Nate has watched her team turn in some pretty dramatic performances this fall.
She has watched them win tournaments and knock off a pair of perennial powerhouses in Lakeshore and Portage Northern.
Now the rest of the state seems to have noticed too.
The Vikings received their first state ranking in many years as the Michigan Intercollegiate Volleyball Coaches Association has made them an honorable mention pick in this week’s Class A poll.
“We are absolutely ecstatic,” Nate said. “My players have worked so hard at every practice and every match to continuously set high goals and accomplish them. Their daily effort is amazing and they absolutely get 110 percent as a team.
“We will continue to focus on the present, prepare for each new match and stay focused on our goals. These girls make me proud both on and off the court every day and I’m excited to watch them continue to achieve.”
Niles, which is 20-7-2 on the season, recently found out its draw for the Class A District Tournament, which will be held Oct. 30 through Nov. 3 at Mattawan High School.
The Vikings will host their first round match-up against Portage Northern, a team it defeated Saturday at the Huskies’ own tournament, and plays again Wednesday in a Big 16 West Division match.
Niles and Portage Northern will play at 7 p.m. Oct. 30, with the winner advancing to face No. 1-ranked Mattawan in the semifinals.
In the other half of the bracket is No. 5-ranked Portage Central making the Mattawan District one of the toughest in the state.