Roundup: Niles second, Eddies third at Byron Center
Published 9:41 am Tuesday, September 26, 2023
BYRON CENTER — The Niles volleyball team shook off its recent struggles by winning the Silver Bracket of the Byron Center Invitational Saturday.
The Vikings went 2-2 on the day, but swept Allendale and Kalamazoo Central to win its bracket of the tournament.
Edwardsburg also competed at Byron Center and finished third in its bracket after going 3-2 and beating Mattawan in its final match of the day.
Niles came out of pool play 0-2 after falling to Fruitport (25-13, 25-22) and to Wolverine Conference foe Otsego (18-25, 26-24, 15-11).
The Vikings (12-12-5) regrouped and in bracket play, defeated Allendale 25-20 and 25-18 before knocking off Kalamazoo Central 25-16 and 25-20 for the title.
“We had success today,” said Niles Coach Samantha Zimmerman. “It’s been awhile since we’ve had some wins, so it is a good feeling to see their hard work pay off. We started really slow in pool play, because we’ve been changing lineups, so our nerves got the best of us. Then we played in a hard match against Otsego, playing much better against them than we did two weeks ago. But what I was impressed with was that we were able to keep pushing through adversity and come together to finish the day with two wins, winning the silver bracket.”
Bree Lake led Niles with 21 kills. She also had 23 digs. Nyla Hover had 24 kills, 15 digs and four aces, while Kendall Gerdes added 15 kills, 15 digs and a team-high 10 blocks.
Emerson Gerrard tied Hover for the top spot in aces with four. Amelia Florkowski led the Vikings with 40 digs, while Rylee Grishaber had a team-high 38 assists. Kaydence Jacobs was right behind her with 37 assists. She also had 21 digs.
The Eddies (15-10-4) lost to host Byron Center (25-20, 25-18) and Grand Rapids West Catholic (25-21, 25-22), but defeated Allendale (25-18, 29-27), Coopersville (25-11, 25-22) and Mattawan (25-21, 25-23).
Dres Glaser had a big day with 43 kills, 13 dsigs, eight blocks and three aces. Sarah Pippin finished the tournament with 28 kills, 25 digs and six blocks, while Mya Eberlein added 17 kills, 10 blocks and three digs.
Danni Purlee led Edwardsburg with 54 digs. Lexi Schimpa had 72 assists.
The Eddies’s JV team finished second at Bronson, while the freshman team took third at St. Joseph.
Host Buchanan swept Bangor, St. Joseph and Michigan Lutheran to win its own Buck Classic on Saturday.
The Bucks (15-2) defeated the Vikings 25-11, 25-5; the Bears 25-21, 25-12 and the Titans 25-9 and 26-24.
Chloe Aalfs had a big day for Buchanan with 34 kills and 10 digs. Izzy Tibbles and Addy Dombrowski both finished with 10 kills, while Sophia Bachman had 63 assists and 12 aces, of of which were team highs.
Laney Kehoe led the Bucks with 22 digs, while Emily Holt and Riley Capron both had 17 digs.