LELAND — Three matches.
It was far from easy for the Traverse City Central volleyball team, however.
The Trojans took down Traverse City St. Francis, Leland and Traverse City Christian at Thursday’s Leland Quad, but two of the matches went the full three games as Central got quite a battle in action that proved to be pretty evenly matched between the four schools.
Central defeated St. Francis 25-23, 25-18, then got all it could handle from Leland, winning 16-25, 25-20, 16-14, and had early trouble with Christian before winning 23-25, 25-19, 15-4.
St. Francis won two of three matches, beating Christian 25-13, 25-20 and Leland 25-17, 19-25, 15-6. Leland’s win came in its first match against the Sabres, 25-12, 25-18.
“Without having our setter (Devin Dotterrer) in a 5-1, I’m real happy my girls stepped up,” said Central coach Mike Kelly. “They have some talent and they rode it.”
With Dotterrer out of the state for a family wedding, Callie Bartkowiak stepped up and had 65 assists. The Trojans (20-12-2) showed their power at the net as well, with Kiley Kowal recording 36 kills, Sierra Fraser 33, Carissa Bartkowiak 32 and Jessie Kuchner 31.
Central’s match against Leland was the most intense of the night, with the two teams having to come from behind to get wins and a third game that went right down to the wire. Kelly and Leland coach Laurie Glass both admitted it took a lot out of their teams heading into the third and final matches of the night. Central dropped its first game against Christian — the one game the Sabres (16-16-8) won on the night — and battled neck-and-neck for most of the second game before Central assumed control. Likewise, Leland dropped its first game against St. Francis. The Comets took game two and St. Francis rebounded to take game three.
“I thought we were really gaming in the TC Central match when we were down and came back, so that was a good booster,” said Glass. “I think we expended a lot of energy in that match and came out a little flat in this one (versus St. Francis). But, you know, we battled back again and came back and won that second game. So when you can go three (games) with quality opponents I think that’s a great night.