Buchanan plays well in Lakeland Tournament

Published 7:04 am Monday, March 1, 2004

By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
THREE OAKS -- Coming in as the fifth seed, the Buchanan varsity volleyball team put on a good show to finish third at Saturday's Lakeland Conference Tournament.
The Bucks finished second in a pool that included Coloma, the eventual tournament champion, Brandywine and Cassopolis.
Buchanan suffered an 11-15, 15-7, 15-8 loss to Berrien Springs and then beat River Valley 15-13, 15-13 in the consolation game.
Coloma beat Berrien Springs 11-15, 15-8, 15-10 to win the tournament championship and finish first in the final conference standings. Berrien Springs finished second overall while Brandywine finished third, Buchanan fourth, Edwardsburg fifth, River Valley sixth, Bridgman seventh and Cassopolis eighth.
The Bucks opened the day with a key 16-14, 15-9 sweep of Brandywine in pool play. Those two teams will meet in the first match of the Class C District Tournament Saturday at Buchanan.
Brandywine was one of four teams tied for first place in the conference standings heading into the tournament. A disappointing third-place finish in pool play, however, allowed the Bobcats the chance to finish fifth, at best, Saturday.
Brandywine beat Bridgman 15-5, 15-11 and then beat Edwardsburg 15-13, 15-9 to claim fifth place.
The strong finish was one of the few positives for the Bobcats Saturday.
The loss to Buchanan turned out to be a deciding factor in the Bobcats' fate as the top two teams in each pool played for the top four places in the tournament and the bottom two teams in each pool played for the bottom four places.
Veronica Andersson, a foreign exchange student from Sweden, gave Buchanan a big lift Saturday as she had 10 blocks and 29 kills.
Ashlee Layher led Buchanan with 51 kills, five aces and 26 digs. Ali Bender added 39 digs, 103 assists and four aces.
Holly Tibbs had 18 kills for the Bucks while Jaclyn Mummaw had 31 digs and three aces.