TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City Central played perhaps its best match of the season, and Traverse City West still won for the third time in as many meetings Saturday.
That’s not a knock on Central. Just a nod to West.
The Titans wrapped up a Class A district championship with a 25-13, 27-25, 25-19 win over the Trojans. West will head to regional action Tuesday at Grayling against Midland Dow.
“Winning districts two years in a row, especially being a senior and against Central — it can’t get any better than that,” West outside hitter Anna O’Hara said. “We’re really excited to be moving on. We’re really excited about our potential in the postseason.”
West (26-8-1) pulled away to win the first game, but the second was much closer, as neither team led by any more than three points and it was mainly a one-point lead one way or the other.
“The second game, we were up 23-20,” Central coach Mike Kelly said. “We needed to really finish that game off. If we could have, it might have been a little more fun the rest of the match. But they came back. They know how to win. But I was proud of our girls. They fought hard for every point.
“That, in our opinion, is the best match we’ve played this year. West is just that good of a team. They’re better than we are and had great energy in their gym. They’re well-coached. They have some real leaders on the floor — and they showed that when we put some pressure on them. They stepped up and answered.”
West was clinging to a one-point lead, 11-10, in the first game when O’Hara’s turn to serve came up. By the time she was done, the Titans held a 19-11 lead as she notched a pair of aces and slowed Central’s offense with low, dipping serves.