Hooley leads Dowagiac to 25-15-2 record in first year

EDWARDSBURG — The Dowagiac volleyball team gave perennial powerhouse Niles all it wanted before falling to the Vikings 3-1 in the Division 2 district semifinals Thursday night.

The Chieftains, under first-year coach Tony Hooley, finished with a 25-15-2 overall record.

That is the most victories for the Chieftains since Vince Strefling led Dowagiac to 19 wins in 2013.

Niles, the defending district champion, defeated the Chieftains 19-25, 25-22, 25-11 and 25-17.

“I couldn’t be prouder of this team,” Hooley said. “They came out against a good, athletic and well-coached team and went toe-to-toe with them. We lost some steam and confidence in the second half of the match, but minus a small rough stretch in the second set, we came close to going up 2-0. That might have fueled our game a little longer and put our opponents on their heels, but in the end, Niles came out on top.”

The Vikings would take control of the match after winning the second set.

Veteran Niles coach Jenny Nate used a timeout in the second set to get her team’s focus back, as well as its confidence.

“I think they came into tonight very tense,” she said. “They felt a lot of pressure. Finally, in that second set, I had to tell them relax. Be good teammates. The pressure is not on you. As soon as you relax and have each other’s backs and communicate, you will have this.”

In the second semifinal on Thursday, Edwardsburg defeated Wolverine Conference foe Vicksburg for the second time in three weeks 3-0.

The Bulldogs were the only conference team to win a set off the Eddies, who were out to send a message.

The message got delivered loud and clear as Edwardsburg routed Vicksburg 25-13, 25-11 and 25-12.

“I cannot stop smiling,” said Edwardsburg coach Sarah Strefling. “I wanted these girls to bring energy and that is what they did. I keep telling them that every time they step in here they need to fight to win. They are not entitled to a victory. We played great tonight.”

The Eddies continued that roll Saturday morning with a sweep of Niles for the Division 2 district championship.

Edwardsburg won 25-17, 25-21 and 25-19 to advances to Tuesday’s regional against Wolverine Conference foe Plainwell in the second semifinal at 7 p.m.

The first semifinal will pit Hamilton, who was defeated by Niles in the regional semifinals in 2017, against Lakeshore at 5:30 p.m.

Strefling is a graduate of Lakeshore High School.

The championship game will be played at 6 p.m. Thursday night.

Business

Marijuana grow, processing company granted provisional approval by Niles City Council

Dowagiac

Dowagiac City Council takes action on blighted property

Dowagiac

UPDATE: Wayne Township house fire, death investigation ongoing

Berrien County

Michigan Works! to host Friend of the Court Amnesty Day, Expungement and Resource Fair

Business

Working artisans to bring their crafts to Under the Harvest Moon

Cass County

Dowagiac man dies in house fire

Berrien County

Blossomtime Festival to return

Cassopolis

PHOTO STORY: Cassopolis organization hosts inaugural Walk of Hope

Cass County

Dave Young to host revival conference at Volinia Baptist Church

News

Paddle auction to be hosted at Niles church Sept. 30

Berrien County

Local league to register voters on National Voter Registration Day

Dowagiac

DAR to host rededication

News

Niles Housing Commission moves to make improvements, stabilize funding into the future

Dowagiac

Dowagiac police investigating Saturday night shooting

Cass County

Van Buren/Cass District Health Department confirms COVID-19 associated death of a student in Van Buren County

Cass County

Cassopolis man gets probation for drunk driving

Cass County

South Bend man resentenced in 1997 Union murder case

Dowagiac

Army veteran talks his experience in Afghanistan

Business

Local farm markets ready for fall season

Business

Mason’s Pumpkins preparing for second-annual Harvest Festival

Dowagiac

DUS, teachers continue contract talks

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Area History Museum fundraiser raises $40,000

Giving

Wolverine Pipeline, area organizations partner to lend veteran a helping hand

Business

Cassopolis woman opens vintage, antique store downtown