Buchanan tops Dowagiac for Lakeland crown

Published 3:20 pm Monday, October 24, 2022

BERRIEN SPRINGS — The inaugural volleyball season of the Lakeland Conference is in the books.

And like football, Buchanan went undefeated to claim the league championship. The Bucks were a perfect 4-0 in regular-season conference matches, which counted for 50 percent of the league title.

On Saturday, at Berrien Springs High School, Buchanan won the conference tournament to collect the other 50 percent and the outright league championship.

The Bucks (28-5), defeated the host Shamrocks in the semifinals 25-14 and 25-21. Dowagiac advanced to the finals with an upset 25-14 and 25-14 over Brandywine, which had defeated the Chieftains during the regular season 25-21, 25-27, 25-22 and 25-22.

Buchanan defeated Dowagiac in the championship match Saturday 25-20 and 26-24.

“Last year we were undefeated conference champions, so this year our goal was to do the same thing,” said Buchanan Coach Shelly Bossert. “We went into Saturday’s tournament know we were undefeated in regular season, and we were on a mission to win the tournament without dropping a set. My outside hitters were on fire Saturday. They were able to put the ball away almost every time they got the ball. We had really consistent serve receive which helped us get a quick point. My girls have been very motivated this season to play hard and to work together as a team, and that is exactly what we executed on Saturday. I am very proud of everything they have accomplished so far this season.”

First-year Dowagiac Coach Amber Todd was happy with the way her team played on Saturday.

“Today was a great day for volleyball,” she said. “The girls came out strong and defeated Brandywine in two sets. We had consistent serving and kept the ball in play. I am extremely proud of how strong everyone played today. In the championship game, we fought hard and fell to a strong Buchanan team.”

Chloe Aalfs and Josie West came up big for the Bucks on Saturday. Aalfs had 20 kills, whie West had 14 kills. Faith Carson dominated the middle with 16 kills.

“My outside hitters were on fire Saturday,” Bossert said. “They were able to put the ball away almost every time they got the ball. We had really consistent serve receive which helped us get a quick point. My girls have been very motivated this season to play hard and to work together as a team, and that is exactly what we executed on Saturday. I am very proud of everything they have accomplished so far this season.”

Dowagiac was led by middle hitter Alanah Smith’s 12 kills. Caleigh Wimberley and Abby Dobberstein both finished with nine kills.

For complete statistics click here.