Bucks fall to undefeated Comets in conference finals
Published 10:07 pm Monday, February 27, 2006
By By TOM NYHUIS / Niles Daily Star
NILES - The powerful Coloma Comets volleyball team has dominated the Lakeland Conference all season.
At Saturday's Lakeland Conference tournament at Brandywine High School, the Comets continued to show why they completed the league season undefeated.
Coloma nailed down their fourth straight conference title defeating Buchanan 25-17, 25-16 in the championship match.
For the power hitting Comets, it was their 36th consecutive conference win.
"The leadership of the seniors and juniors, they got us this far, we have a strong bunch of hitters right there and that helps a lot," Coloma coach Vince Strefling said. "Our starting setter, Liz Grootendorst went out earlier in the week and we had to rely on a freshman today to step up and get us this far today, Erica Bartholomew did a nice job leading this team."
"I thought we played fairly well throughout the day," Buchanan coach Lisa Holok said after the championship loss to the Comets. "We would be down a bit and than come back. The girls showed a lot of heart. They fought hard throughout the two final games. You can't give up 10 points in one rotation, that pretty much took us out of the second game."
Buchanan made the Comets fight for every point early in game one. The Bucks stayed right with the Comets, Buchanan tied the game at 12-12 before Coloma rolled off four points to take a 16-12 advantage. The Bucks could only cut the lead to three, 17-20 before the Comets reeled off the final five points to take the opening game. Coloma took an early 13-3 lead in the second game and the Bucks would not be a threat to the Comets the rest of the way.
Coloma advanced as the number one team out of pool A with a perfect 6-0 mark, while the Bucks were the number one seed team with a 4-2 pool B . Buchanan's two losses came at the hands of Berrien Springs and Bridgman. Edwardsburg also finished with a 4-2 pool record, but head-to-head scoring with the Bucks gave Buchanan the number one seeding.
Buchanan fought back in the opening pool play game against the Eddies from an 10-0 deficit and pulled out a 25-21 victory and also won the second game 25-21.
Buchanan advanced to the championship game with 26-24, 25-16 wins over Brandywine and Coloma turned back Edwardsburg 25-18, 25-15.
Edwardsburg took third place honors with 25-12, 25-21 wins over the Bobcats who finished the day fourth. Berrien Springs defeated Bridgman for a fifth place finish with the Bees finishing the day in sixth. River Valley got past Cassopolis 25-17, 25-10 to finish seventh and eighth respectively.
Buchanan moved one spot in the overall standings from third to second behind the Comets. Bridgman, who came into the day in second place, ends the season in third after a sixth place tournament finish.
Leading the Bucks attack throughout the day was Emily Ross with three aces, 11 kills, 10 blocks, 79 assists and 37 digs. Hayley Burks came through with four aces, 22 kills, five blocks and 74 digs. Jill Woodrick finished the day with 18 kills and 100 digs. Lindsey Borr had 111 digs, while Courtney Miller added three aces, 15 kills, 10 blocks and 38 digs. Mattie Arndt contributed with four aces, 11 kills, 20 blocks and 11 digs. Katrina Weldy completed the day with 18 kills, 19 blocks and 15 digs.
Buchanan and Brandywine will play in the Class C District tournament at Bridgman starting on Thursday with the Bobcats taking on Berrien Springs at 7:30 p.m. The winner will take on Buchanan on Saturday at noon.
Watervliet will take on River Valley at 5:30 on Thursday and that winner will face Bridgman at 10 a.m on Saturday with the championship match at 2 p.m.