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.
Prep Sports Scoreboard: 04/24/2014
A roundup of prep sports results from across northern Michigan:Continued ...
Prep Roundup: Titans sweep Gaylord in BNC opener
From staff reports TRAVERSE CITY -- Paul Soma and Chase Cavric pitched Traverse City West to a 2-1 and 6-3 Big North Conference sweep of Gaylord on Wednesday that opened league play. Soma tossed a three-hit complete game in the opener, striking out fContinued ...
Shays reflect on Keflezighi's 'stellar race' in Boston Marathon
Soon after Meb Keflezighi won Monday's Boston Marathon, Stephan Shay sent out a congratulatory note to his friend. "Meb! Unbelievably stellar race!" he tweeted. Just below that post was a 2004 picture showing Stephan, his older brother Ryan, KeflezigContinued ...
Traverse City Alliance to open new rugby field on Friday
TRAVERSE CITY -- Expect to see a little extra energy when Christian Gallagher and the rest of the TC Alliance rugby team take the field on Friday to face Grand Rapids Catholic Central. Not only will it be the Alliance's home opener, but it also willContinued ...
Sports in Brief: 04/24/2014
Kids free fishing event canceled; Longboarding event coming to Onekama; 3 area shooters honored by BCAM.Continued ...
Track Roundup: West's Roush sets school record
From staff reports GAYLORD -- Tommy Roush set another school record as Traverse City West knocked off Big North Conference foes Cadillac and Gaylord in a double dual meet. West defeated Cadillac 95.5-76.5 and Gaylord 97-60. Roush -- who broke the shoContinued ...
- Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Lake overcomes cramps to finish Boston
Cramps didn’t stop Gary Lake from finishing his final Boston Marathon. The 67-year-old from Honor fought through a painful final eight miles to finish in just over five hours.Continued ...
Prep Sports Roundup: Late rallies propel Christian to sweep
Jacob Rorick squeezed in Cam Beemer with the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth as Traverse City Christian edged McBain Northern Michigan Christian 7-6 in the first of two games. (Plus more)Continued ...
- Today in Sports: 04/23/2014
- Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Kiel records top Boston time out of area runners
Kyle Kiel’s Boston Marathon time was over 35 minutes improved from last year’s. Gary Lake’s was infinitely better.Continued ...
Prep Sports Roundup: TCW 11th; Scott ties for 1st
Alex Scott shot a 74 to tie for first overall as he led the Traverse City West boys golf team to an 11th-place finish Monday at the East Lansing Invitational at Walnut Hills. (Plus more)Continued ...
Sports in Brief: TC Roller Derby teams split
The teams of Traverse City Roller Derby participated as part of a tripl header of roller derby action at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek on Saturday. (Plus more)Continued ...
College Notes: Otwell wins 1,500 meters at Jesse Owens Classic
Michigan State redshirt senior Julia Otwell (Traverse City Central) won the 1,500-meter run Friday in the Jesse Owens Track Classic at Ohio State. (Plus more)Continued ...
- Today in Sports: 04/22/2014
- Monday, April 21, 2014
Dennis Chase: Lions should take guesswork out of draft
With the NFL draft approaching, Detroit’s been teasing its long-suffering fan base by bringing in defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, receiver Sammy Watkins and outside linebacker Khalil Mack for meet-and-greets.Continued ...
Bowling Scores: 04/21/2014
Local bowling scores from Lucky Jack's:Continued ...
- Today in Sports: 04/21/2014
- Sunday, April 20, 2014
Unbeaten Titans roll past Central, 6-1
Trailing 1-0 early, the Titans responded with six unanswered goals over the final 58 minutes to beat crosstown rival Traverse City Central 6-1 in a Big North Conference soccer match at the Coast Guard field.Continued ...
Spanski to sign with Detroit Mercy
Brett Spanski can make a little history and be a trailblazer at the same time Wednesday.Continued ...
Prep Sports Roundup: TC Thunder romps at Thirlby Field
The Traverse City Thunder opened the lacrosse season Saturday with an 11-1 win over Muskegon Reeths-Puffer and a 12-3 decision over Sault Ste, Marie. (Plus more)Continued ...
- Saturday, April 19, 2014
Trojans dominate track invitational
From staff reports MUSKEGON -- It was a good Friday for Traverse City Central sophomore Anthony Berry. Berry was part of three records as the Trojans easily won the 15-team Rocket Invitational at Muskegon Reeths-Puffer with 228.5 points. "No questionContinued ...
Traverse City Hounds rally to beat Jersey Shore, 6-3
LAS VEGAS -- Traverse City closed out the UHU national tournament with a flurry, rallying with five third-period goals to knock off the Jersey Shore Wildcats 6-3. Things didn't look as rosy in the first two periods. The Hounds did take a 1-0 lead onContinued ...
- Friday, April 18, 2014
Hounds on verge of elimination in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS -- Traverse City's penalty killing unit wasn't its usual self Thursday, allowing three power-play goals in a 6-2 UHU national tournament loss to the Soo Firehawks. In the regular season, the Hounds' penalty killers gave up a net three goalsContinued ...
Bob Gwizdz: Perfect day on the Manistee River
WELLSTON -- Tired of waiting for the St. Joseph River to clear up -- and having postponed our annual St. Patrick's Day (or thereabouts) steelhead sojourn already into April -- Jim Romine made the call: We were going to the Manistee River instead. AndContinued ...
DNR seeks solution to Vasa dispute
TRAVERSE CITY -- Fat tire bikers and cross country skiers are hoping for some sort of resolution to a brewing controversy on April 28. The two user groups have struggled to coexist in the first year since TART opened the Vasa trail to fat bikes as aContinued ...
- Prep Sports Scoreboard: 04/24/2014