Niles loses in semifinals

Published 11:33 am Thursday, December 30, 2004

By By ADAM FISHER / Niles Daily Star
DOWAGIAC - Niles started Wednesday's Chieftain Volleyball Invitational on a roll. The Vikings started the tournament 4-0 with a 25-11, 25-18 victory over Benton Harbor and a 25-20, 25-20 win over Bridgman.
Niles then split a pair of games with host Dowagiac 23-25, 25-17 to finish pool play at 5-1, good enough for the No. 1 seed from Pool A.
Dowagiac took the second seed from Pool A with a record of 4-2 in pool play. The Chieftains beat Benton Harbor 25-24, 25-13 in their first match, then split a pair of games with Bridgman, 21-25, 25-17.
Niles faced Coloma in the semifinals. The Comets were the No. 2 seed from Pool B. Despite their fast start, the Vikings stumbled in the semis, falling quickly. They lost 25-21, 25-14 to Coloma.
Dowagaic also lost in the semifinals, losing in two games to Plainwell. The Chieftains lost 25-22, 25-21 to the eventual tournament champions.
In the finals, Coloma pushed Plainwell to three games, but in the end, the Trogans were too much. They won 26-24, 17-25, 15-11.
Cass was also in the tournament, compiling a 1-5 record in pool play. The Rangers did not make it to the tournament portion of the tournament.
The Rangers lost 25-17, 25-13 to Coloma and 25-18, 25-17 to Plainwell. Cass then split a pair of games with Eau Claire, 25-23, 16-25.
Niles was led by the 27 kills of Melissa Olsen in the invitational. Claire Molnar added 18 kills, and Brittney Passig had 11.
Karly Kennedy led the Vikings in points with 23. She also served nine aces and had 28 digs. Leigh Tyler also had five aces.
Olsen had six blocks to lead the team, followed by Passig with five. Amber Peters handed out 60 assists in the tournament.