Roundup: Vikings, Bucks find success at Portage Northern invite

Published 10:06 am Sunday, September 18, 2022

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PORTAGE — Both Niles and Buchanan were successful at the Portage Northern Invitational Saturday.

The Vikings and Bucks both went 3-1 on the day.

Niles defeated No. 7-ranked (Division 2) Unity Christian, Vicksburg and Lakeshore before falling to St. John’s 25-21, 17-25 and 15-12. Buchanan defeated Paw Paw, Portage Northern and St. John’s before falling to Unity Christian 25-23 and 25-16.

“Today was another good process today for us,” said Niles Coach Samantha Zimmerman. “One of our goals was to start strong, and we executed that perfectly. Now we need to finish strong as well and learn to be consistent.”

Zimmerman said that the way the tournament was structured, her team did not necessary adapt well to having to wait to play.

“It was a long day for everyone, and the long breaks got the best of us,” she said. “We did some really good things today that we can build on going into next week. Unfortunately, we didn’t play with the intensity and energy that we normally do and that really affected us today. I know we will bring that energy with our first home game of the season on Thursday versus Vicksburg and our home quad on Saturday.”

Jillian Bruckner continues to be a force at the net for the Vikings. On Saturday, she led the team with 23 kills and six blocks. Bree Lake also played well with 16 kills and six blocks, while Nyla Hover contributed 11 kills and Kendall Gerdes six blocks.

Amelia Florkowski led the team with 36 digs. Kailyn Miller finished with 24 digs and three aces. Anna Johnson had 30 assists and Brynn Lake 24 assists.

The Vikings are now 13-13-6 on the year.


Buchanan Volleyball

Josie West led the Bucks (13-2) with 28 kills and 21 digs.

Faith Carson finished with 26 kills and six solo blocks, while sister Alyssa Carson added 21 kills, three solo blocks and six assisted blocks. Chloe Aalfs finished the tournament with 16 kills, 26 digs and a pair of assisted blocks. Alyvia Hickok had 92 assists and 15 digs for the Bucks. Laney Kehoe led the team with 31 digs and four aces.