Niles volleyball 6-1 at Gull Lake, JV win Coloma Invitational

Published 5:28 pm Saturday, August 21, 2021

RICHLAND — The Niles varsity volleyball team had a great opening day at the 11-team Gull Lake Invitational Friday.

Niles went 6-1 on the day, earning the No. 1 seed out of all teams coming out of pool play, and losing only to Portage Central in the Gold championship in three sets.

In pool play, Niles defeated Vicksburg 25-16, 25-11, and then beat Lakeview (by points) 25-15, 23-25. The Vikings defeated Edwardsburg 25-15 and 25-19 in the challenge match, which gave Niles the top seed.

Niles again faced Edwardsburg in the Gold quarterfinals and defeated them 25-20 and 25-18.  They went on to beat Gull Lake in the semifinals 26-24 and 28-26.  Finally, they faced off with Portage Central and lost a three-set heartbreaker 20-25, 25-16 and 15-10.

“I was pleased with our energy and ability to work as a team today,” said Niles Coach Jenny Nate. “We are working hard on finding and maintaining consistency, putting the ball down in all rotations and building chemistry and trust on the court. All of our players contributed to the wins today, and despite dealing with a few minor ankle injuries, we were able to make consistent substitutions and maintain our level of play which is an attribute to this group of girls; they are gritty, smart, and work well together.”

Nate was also pleased with her reserves.

“Our bench was also a major contributor to our success today,” she said. “They truly bring the same positive energy on the court as they do off the court when they are cheering for one another. That will definitely help them continue to build momentum as we move forward after day one. I’m excited to watch them learn, grow, and improve as today was just a glimpse as to what they are capable of.”

Niles (6-1) was back on the court Saturday at Portage Central.

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JV Volleyball

COLOMA — The Niles JV Volleyball team went 4-0 at the Coloma Invitational to win it all Friday.

“It was a very exciting day for the girls,” said Niles JV Coach Sammee Schaller. “These girls worked very hard and showed a lot of grit on the court. The grit these girls showed was beyond any measure I would have expected.”

Niles faced Berrien Springs (25-8, 25-9, 25-2) and Decatur (25-12, 25-14 25-10) in pool play, winning both matches, to earn the No. 1 overall seed. The Vikings received a bye in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals they faced South Haven, winning 25-10 and 25-17.

In the championship match, Niles defeated Edwardsburg 25-16 and 25-15.

“I am so proud of these girls,” Schaller said. “Lots of hard work this summer is paying off. This now brings us to 6-0 for the season.”

Niles was back on the court Saturday at St. Joseph.

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