TRAVERSE CITY — Grand Haven has done this before.
With a 25-19, 25-20, 25-15 win over Traverse City West on Tuesday at the Class A regional semifinal held at TC Central, the Buccaneers moved on to play for a regional title for the fifth time in seven years.
Winning the next match has been a different story.
"We've never gotten through," Grand Haven coach Aaron Smaka said. "We're at home on Thursday and we feel like we've got a really good opportunity. We'll go home and practice and do our best to get ready for that match."
The Buccaneers (43-16-1) will host Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central on Thursday for the regional title. The Rangers swept Hudsonville in the other Class A semifinal.
After a close first game on Tuesday, TC West (28-15-1) played tough for much of the second game. The game was tied 11 times, including a 17-17 standstill after Smaka had called time-out on the previous point. From there, the Buccaneers closed it out with eight of the final 11 points.
"I think we knew coming up here that Traverse City was a very resilient team and they play scrappy defense," Smaka said. "And both their middles are very solid players. So we knew it was going to be a lot of work tonight and they were going to fight us in their hometown. But I'm proud of my kids. I'm proud of how my kids fought and I don't think we played our best, but we found a way to get the job done."
Grand Haven took control from there. The Buccaneers jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the third game and took it to 20-10 before closing it out 25-15.
"We just weren't on tonight," Titans coach Emily Baumann said. "We made way too many errors, which is not like us. We hit the floor on defense, but we could not get our offense going. And that's what we're known for, our big offense."
Smaka said his team's size played a factor.
"We're tall," Smaka said. "We're a pretty big team. (TC West) sees blockers, but I don't know if they see that many of them at that size. Our blockers did a good job of knowing who their hitters were and where they had to go."
Abby Cole, a Miss Volleyball finalist headed to the University of Michigan, led Grand Haven with 11 kills and six blocks. Krysteena Davis had 13 kills and four blocks, Marisa Ejups had nine kills and nine digs, Jami Hogeboom had 35 assists and Andrea Smith had 10 digs.
For the Titans, Baumann's first year back with the program came to a close with the loss.
"It's a good season, you always want to go further," Baumann said. "But good season. It's great to be back. They know how to compete. We have six seniors, but on the court there's usually just two seniors out there at a time. So we have two juniors and the rest are just sophomores. It's quite a young group."
Sophomore Katie Placek had nine kills, seven digs and 3.5 blocks while senior Courtney VanHouzen had eight kills and six digs. Junior hitter Anna O'Hara had nine kills while sophomore setter Mattison Mokanyk had 25 assists.
Miss Volleyball finalist leads the way for Buccaneers
TRAVERSE CITY — Grand Haven has done this before.
Weber leads East Jordan past St. Francis
Three games, three wins. The East Jordan Red Devils rolled into Traverse City and beat St. Francis for the third time this season, handing the Gladiators a 67-57 loss in a Class C regional semifinal Monday night.Continued ...
Oilers drill Titans, 74-53
Traverse City West's remarkable run came to an end in Cadillac. Mount Pleasant opened the second half with a 22-2 run to blow open a previously-close Class A regional semifinal en route to a 74-53 victory Monday.Continued ...
Panthers advance, 70-51
Frankfort ended a 37-year drought last March when it won a Class D regional here.Continued ...
Givens, Schrank earn first-team All-State
Traverse City Central forward Cam Givens and defenseman Derek Schrank were selected first-team Division 2 All-State by the Michigan High School Hockey Coaches Association.Continued ...
Today in Sports: 03/11/2014
What's happening in sports across the region and the nation:Continued ...
Cadillac beats Escanaba
Jalen Brooks scored 26 points to lead Cadillac to a 55-52 win over Escanaba in a Class B regional semifinal played at Petoskey.Continued ...
- Monday, March 10, 2014
Sports in Brief: 03/10/2014
Patrick Reed felt he belongs among the best in the world. He beat them all Sunday in the Cadillac Championship. (Plus more)Continued ...
Today in Sports: 03/10/2014
What's happening today in sports across the region and the country:Continued ...
- Sunday, March 9, 2014
Teams focus on ending season with titles
The girls will crown four state champions Saturday. The boys will be down to the Elite Eight in each class Wednesday night. March Madness is heading down the home stretch.Continued ...
TC West JV wins state title
The Traverse City West junior varsity won a state powerlifting championship Saturday at Whitmore Lake.Continued ...
Sports in Brief: 03/09/2014
Weber receives scholarship; Bellaire’s Emery commits to Albion; Girls hoops travel tryouts March 16. (Plus more)Continued ...
- Saturday, March 8, 2014
Boyne Falls finally tastes victory against Bellaire
Over the past three seasons, Bellaire has been the only team around that’s had Boyne Falls’ number. On Friday night it was finally the Loggers’ turn to taste victory.Continued ...
Titans stun Alpena, 61-47
Traverse City West has a regional date with Mount Pleasant on Monday.Continued ...
Gladiators hold off Manton
Manton scrapped and clawed and made a game of it on its home floor Friday, but St. Francis big man Noah Phillips was able to answer at the right time, enabling the Gladiators to hold on for a tense 54-51 victory in the Class C district finals.Continued ...
Loney scores 33, sparks Frankfort to a district crown
David Loney scored almost 60 percent of his team’s points in a 58-47 Class D district championship victory Friday over Bear Lake at Frankfort as the Panthers rode the hot hand of their star post player.Continued ...
Hard work pays off for TCC's Piatek
Instead of working last summer, Traverse City Central senior thrower Johnny Piatek opted to devote his energies to training, all in hopes it would lead to a college scholarship.Continued ...
Boys Basketball Roundup: East Jordan ousts Boyne City
The first district basketball title in 19 years earned the East Jordan Red Devils a police escort back into town Friday night.Continued ...
State Prep Boys Basketball Scores: 03/08/2014
Boys high school basketball scores for district tournament games played on Friday, March 7:Continued ...
- Friday, March 7, 2014
High School Sports Scoreboard: 03/07/2014
A roundup of scores from today's boys district basketball tournament games:Continued ...
Panthers roar in regional final
Tim Reznich is hoping Frankfort can have a reunion with Nicole Marshall. And history says the Panthers may very well do that.Continued ...
Frankfort coach elected president of coach association
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McBain captures Class C regional title
McBain rebounded from a poor shooting performance in the first half to overtake Beaverton and secure a 61-44 decision Thursday in a Class C girls regional championship game.Continued ...
State Prep Basketball Scores: 03/07/2014
Michigan high school basketball scores for games played Thursday, March 7:Continued ...
- Thursday, March 6, 2014
Frankfort, McBain win regional titles
The No. 3-ranked Frankfort Panthers secured a Class D girls basketball regional championship tonight, defeating Bellaire 61-33.Continued ...
Titans roll into district finals
Sault Ste. Marie trailed by double digits for all but 90 seconds Wednesday night. That pretty much sums up Traverse City West's dominance in winning a Class A district semifinal 77-57 after jumping out to an early 14-0 lead.Continued ...
- Weber leads East Jordan past St. Francis