Buchanan finally gets by Battle Creek Harper Creek
Published 12:59 pm Wednesday, November 9, 2016
COLOMA — The third time was the charm for the Buchanan volleyball team in Coloma as the Bucks finally got by Battle Creek Harper Creek in four sets, 25-8, 25-17, 23-25, 25-19 Tuesday night.
The Beavers have knocked the Bucks out of the Class B regional tournament each of the past two seasons.
“It’s always good to take out someone that has ended your run the last couple of years,” said Buchanan coach Lisa Holok. “It feels so good. It is really nice to finally have some redemption against a team that has ended our season the last two couple years, which we felt was too soon.”
The Bucks received a huge boost with the return of senior standout defender Taylor Reed, who has been out with a concussion.
“Taylor Reed is a phenomenal defender,” Holok said. “The game flows so well when all of our seniors are together on the court. Her energy, and her spark and her heart, it was just good to have everybody back.”
Buchanan came out flying right from the start, jumping out to a dominating 18-5 lead in set one before finishing of Harper Creek 25-8.
The Bucks, who have seven seniors who have played together for several years, played relentless defense and aggressive,
consistent offense all night.
“Our defense is really good,” Holok said. “We have some people that can put the ball away, but it’s our passing and our defense that’s going to win us points and keep us moving forward in the post season.”
Defensively Frankie Strefling’s 26 digs and two blocks paced the Bucks, while Britta Mollberg contributed 18 digs. Liz Kuntz had six blocks, while Andrea Bair and Megan Adkerson each had three.
“Frankie’s done a great job putting herself back in a position to return to the team,” Holok said. “I know she didn’t want to miss this journey with this group of seniors.”
Offensively, the Bucks had three people that were able to put the ball away pretty consistently all night.
Strefling led the Bucks with 21 kills, but it was Kuntz with 18 and Alex Tobler with 15 that really stepped up noticeably.
“Our girls have stepped up all season, not just tonight,” Holok said. “When Frankie went out (injury) it made us better because the seniors all pulled together and they had to do their job.”
The Bucks have proven all year that they have a team that is capable of going a long way in the state tournament, and if they can continue to play stout defense and consistent offense, they are going to be a tough out.
“If everybody does their job, top to bottom, people aren’t going to be able to stop us,” Holok said.
Buchanan (48-6) advances to the Class B Regional Final on Thursday night against the winner of Plainwell and Vicksburg.
BUCHANAN 3, HARPER CREEK 1
Buchanan d. Harper Creek 25-8, 25-17, 23-25, 25-19.
Franki Strefling 26 digs, 2 aces, 21 kills, 2 blocks
Alex Tobler 15 kills, 3 aces, 8 digs
Liz Kuntz 1 dig, 18 kills, 6 blocks
Megan Ackerson 2 kills, 3 blocks, 3 assist, 1 dig
Andrea Bair 3 blocks
Taylor Strauss 2 aces, 12 digs
Taylor Reed 3 aces, 6 digs
Britta Mollberg 3 aces, 18 digs, 45 assists
Varsity record: Buchanan 47-6.