Niles wins Silver Bracket title; Eddies fall in Gold Bracket final
Published 1:39 pm Sunday, August 20, 2023
PORTAGE — Despite some early difficulties, the Niles volleyball team was able to rebound and win the Silver Bracket championship at the Portage Central Invitational on Saturday.
According to Niles Coach Samantha Zimmerman, losing its opening round match against rival Edwardsburg affected her team the remainder of the day. The Vikings went on to finish pool play with a split against another Wolverine Conference foe in Plainwell and a loss to Caledonia.
In Silver Bracket play, Niles defeated Cassopolis 25-17, 25-27 and 18-16 before defeating Plainwell tot the title, 25-21 and 25-18.
“We had a very slow start in the morning,” Zimmerman said. “Starting with rival Edwardsburg, which affected us more than it should have. We made silly mistakes that we just couldn’t come back from. We could never get into our rhythm with the way we were playing. Unfortunately, that stuck with us for a majority of the day. We are a young team still trying to figure out how to play together.”
Zimmerman said that her team is still working on learning about each other, but winning the Silver Tournament title will help raise its confidence.
“As the coach, I’m even trying to figure out what works for them from me during games,” she said. “We worked on some things together and worked through the adversity to finish the day with a high though, winning the Silver Bracket championship. It was a long day in the gym with some losses that we didn’t want on our record, but my hope is that we learned some things about our team today that was necessary for us to work through. We’ll get to see Monday evening as we travel to Vicksburg for a mini six-team round robin.
The Eddies reached the championship of the Gold Bracket at the Portage Central Invitational, but was defeated by Caledonia 25-18 and 26-24.
Edwardsburg (5-3-1) reached the finals by defeating Niles and splitting with Caledonia, before defeating Plainwell 25-22 and 25-17 in the Gold Bracket semifinals.
The Eddies are back in action Friday as they head to Otsego for a Wolverine Conference jamboree.
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