MORLEY — Morley Stanwood won three games by razor-thin margins as the defending Division 3 state volleyball champions got the job done Wednesday night in a Central State Activities Association victory over Reed City.

Both teams entered the match at 1-0 in the league but the Mohawks prevailed 25-21, 25-22, 26-24.

Morley Stanwood improved to 11-5-1 while the Coyotes are 7-5.

“We played Reed City once already,” said Mohawk coach Robin Kozuch. “So we knew it was going to be a tough match. There’s a lot of tough teams in our league this year. We obviously have a big fat target on our back for winning a few years in a row. A lot of teams will come in and want to take that win away from us.”

After losing the first game, the Coyotes came very close to tying it up. Jacolyn Mullins demonstrated her skill with the jump serve to the tune of two aces for a 17-15 lead. The Mohawks regained the lead and had a 23-21 margin on a serve from Lindsey Veersma. Mekayla Carey and Andie Paulson combined for a block to get the Mohawks’ 25th point.

The third game also saw a seesaw battle although the Coyotes bolted out to a 14-11 lead. The Mohawks’ Kayla Rosman’s service ace tied the game and she followed with two points.

Reed City came back and had a 24-23 lead on a service ace from Kalee Hensel. But the Mohawks scored three points including the match winner on Rosman’s block.

“They played very well. We had a long Labor Day weekend,” Kozuch said. “The girls are coming in and adjusting to the start of school But we did well enough to win. I’m happy with the win.”

The Mohawks were led by Brett Chesebro with 10 kills and Rosman with nine. Sam Carey contributed 19 digs while Rosman had three aces and Mekayla Carey had three blocks. =Veersma had 10 assists while Paulson added nine assists

“We played pretty good, we just need to work on our communication,” said Mekayla Carey.

For Reed City, Heather Tacey had 27 assists while Natalie Westhoff added two blocks

“We played really well,” said Reed City senior Emma Lockhart. ”We’ve been communicating better.”

Reed City lost to the Mohawks earlier in the season in tournament action.

“It’s just a break or two here or there ,” said Reed City coach Don Patterson. “The kids are playing really well. I’m happy. They’re playing at a high level. We just keep improving. Morley Stanwood is improving to. They’re better than they were earlier, we’re better too.”

“I felt we weren’t in the game (Wednesday),” Carey said. “But I think a lot of people are going to be surprised. We have a pretty strong team. We’re very solid.”

On Saturday, Morley Stanwood is at the Birch Run Invitational while Reed City is at the Pine River Invitational.

Visit the photo gallery to see more photos from this match.