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.
2014 All-Region Girls Track Team
The Traverse City Record-Eagle's picks for the 2014 All-Region Girls Track team:Continued ...
2014 All-Region Boys Track Team
The Traverse City Record-Eagle's picks for the 2014 All-Region Boys Track team:Continued ...
2014 All-Region Baseball teams
The Traverse City Record-Eagle's picks for the 2014 All-Region Baseball teams:Continued ...
2014 All-Region Girls Tennis Teams
The Traverse City Record-Eagle's picks for the 2014 All-Region Girls Tennis teams:Continued ...
2014 All-Region Softball Teams
The Traverse City Record-Eagle's picks for the 2014 All-Region Softball team:Continued ...
2014 All-Region Boys Golf Teams
The Traverse City Record-Eagle's picks for the 2014 All-Region Boys Golf Teams:Continued ...
- Monday, July 21, 2014
2014 All-Region Girls Soccer Teams
The 2014 All-Region Girls Soccer Teams:Continued ...
- Thursday, July 17, 2014
Kalkaska coach inducted into Hall
You can’t have much more of a stable job than baseball coach at Kalkaska High School. Since 1946, there’s been only two.Continued ...
- Saturday, July 12, 2014
TC's Dy sisters win GAM titles
Traverse City’s Anika Dy and Anci Dy each won their age groups in the sixth annual Golf Association of Michigan Junior Stroke Play Championship.Continued ...
- Friday, June 20, 2014
Sports in Brief: Kreple earns honorable mention all-state
Traverse City West senior forward Kiley Kreple was named Division 1 honorable mention all-state, the Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association announced. (Plus more)Continued ...
- Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Glen Lake puts three on baseball All-State team
Three players off Glen Lake's Division 4 semifinal baseball team earned first-team All-State honors.Continued ...
- Tuesday, June 17, 2014
TC West best in Big North
Traverse City West Senior High School finished in first place in the Big North Conference All-Sports Standings during the 2013-14 school year, according to a Traverse City Area Public Schools press release.Continued ...
- Monday, June 16, 2014
Katt anxious to turn around Huskies program
Every day Jason Katt spends about four and a half hours in the car traveling from his home near Grand Rapids to Benzie Central High School and then back again.Continued ...
TC Central relay finishes sixth at national meet
An 1,800-mile round trip was made completely worth it.Continued ...
- Sunday, June 15, 2014
Central runners set records at national meet
Traverse City Central runners set school records in two events while competing at the New Balance Nationals on Saturday.Continued ...
- Saturday, June 14, 2014
Lakers fall in semifinals
Austin Odziana’s seventh-inning shot sailed a foot out of bounds. It was Glen Lake’s best and last chance to get back into its Division 4 baseball semifinal. The No. 3-ranked Lakers (32-3-1) fell 3-1 to New Lothrup (33-6) at Michigan State’s McLane Stadium.Continued ...
Buckeyes offer TC West's Lukusa
Ohio State caught Thiyo Lukusa off-guard. The Buckeyes became the fifth offer for the Traverse City West offensive lineman while he was down at the Sound Mind Sound Body camp near Detroit on Friday, an offer the rising junior was not expecting at all.Continued ...
- Friday, June 13, 2014
Glen Lake baseball falls in state semifinal
Austin Odziana's seventh-inning shot sailed a foot out of bounds in Glen Lake's best chance to get back into its Division 4 baseball semifinal contest. The Lakers (32-3-1) fell 3-1 to New Lothrup (33-6).Continued ...
Consistency key for state champ Sneed
When it came to the postseason, Leland’s Joel Sneed simply could not be beat.Continued ...
State Baseball and Softball Tournament Schedules: 06/13/2014
Prep state baseball and softball tournament schedules:Continued ...
Today in Sports: 06/13/2014
What's happening in sports across the region and the nation:Continued ...
- Thursday, June 12, 2014
Glen Lake to tackle semifinals Friday
Friday is a new start for Glen Lake. After advancing to the Division 4 state semifinals with a 5-2 win over Norway, the Lakers want to forget last year’s 15-0 semifinal loss to Beal City.Continued ...
- Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Lakers top Norway 5-2 in quarters
Ben Schweikart got a bounce, and it bounced Norway out of the Division 4 playoffs. The senior backup catcher's third-inning hit Tuesday was headed straight for Knights third baseman Dane VanDenHeuval when it took an odd hop and soared over the third sacker and into the outfield.Continued ...
Rogers City ousts Central Lake from softball tourney
Within moments after Tuesday's Division 4 softball quarterfinal, Central Lake softball coach Ralph Hines was second-guessing himself.Continued ...
- Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Glen Lake moves on; Central Lake falls
Glen Lake defeated Norway 5-2 today in a Division 4 baseball state quarterfinal held at Traverse City West Senior High School.Continued ...
- 2014 All-Region Girls Track Team