LEROY — Cayman Gatt is expected to be among the key players for Pine River’s volleyball team this season and gave evidence to that extent on Saturday in the Traverse City Invitational.

Pine River advanced to the semifinals. Gatt had 26 digs and 21 kills.

Gatt will be a junior. She was on the varsity last season for a Bucks team that advanced to the state semifinals. It was her first varsity season, but Gatt said the adjustment time went very smoothly.

“Everybody on our team fits in pretty good, no matter what sport you’re in,” she said.

The 2010 was a memorable one for Gatt and her teammates with a chance to play in the final four at Battle Creek.

“Since we went that far last year, it made more people want to come out and play,” Gatt said.

Gatt at 5-7 is actually one of the taller players on the Pine River team.

“We have to make sure we can cover,” Gatt said. “We’re fast. We’ll be like scrappy. We’ll be good.”

Gatt said it will be her role to find the holes on the court.

“You don’t have to hit it hard, just at the right spots,” she said.

Gatt is looking to improve her passing.

“I think well be pretty strong,” Gatt said. “We always like to win. We won’t want to lose. We all get along good.”

Morley Stanwood, Beal City and McBain will be among the toughest teams on the schedule.

“We can always get better at the end,” Gatt said.

At the TC Invitational, Chelsea Nelson had 61 assists, 35 digs, 17 kills and 10 blocks while Cayman Gatt had 26 digs and 21 kills and Jessica Hoaglund added 10 kills and nine blocks. Kassy Nelson collected 67 digs and Sheena Vokes had 32 for Pine River.

In pool play, Pine River beat Traverse City Christian 25-12, 25-10, Traverse City Central JV 25-21, 25-22 and Benzie Central 25-12, 25-20. They beat Elk Rapids 25-17, 25-11 in the quarterfinals but lost to Traverse City Central in the semifinals 25-22, 25-18.

Pine River play at Cadillac Tuesday and is at the Kingsley Invitational on Saturday.

REED CITY

The Coyotes were 1-3 Saturday at the Alma Invitational in making their 2011 debut.

The Coyotes beat Alma and lost to Alpena, DeWitt and Birch Run.

Sami Michell had 17 kills and eight aces for the Coyotes. Jaclynn Mullins had seven aces and seven kills.

“We had a pretty balanced attack all day long,” said Reed City coach Don Patterson. “I thought we played pretty good. We’re so young. We have four sophomores and four juniors with Jordyn (Mason) our only senior. That might be the best tournament we’re in all year.”

Thursday, Reed City is at Cadillac.

EVART

Evart made its debut at the Chippewa Hills Invitational on Saturday.

The Wildcats lost to Chippewa Hills and Bay City Central 2-0 and split with Coleman.

“I thought we did a good job for having such a young team,” said Evart senior Magdalen Hyde.

The Wildcats ended the invitational with only six players. Two players had to leave during the event while two others were out on family functions.

Evart was home Tuesday night against Farwell and plays next Tuesday at Mesick.