Pine River, Evart fall in district semifinals

EVART— Pine River was hoping to have more success against McBain than during the regular season when the two volleyball teams met in Wednesday’s Class C district semifinal.

But McBain proved to be too tough again for the Bucks with a 3-0 sweep to end Pine River’s season.

“We split with them during a tournament and won one game out of four (during a dual match),” Pine River coach Jana Dennis said.

The Ramblers posted 25-15, 25-20, 25-15 wins over Pine River.

“We had to contain their outside hitters,” Dennis said. “Our mistakes are what cost us the game. We implemented our game plan pretty good.”

McBain seemed ready to dominate in the third game with a 7-2 lead on strong serving by Katlyn Bode. Kyle Johnson’s strong serving helped Pine River get back with an 8-7 lead. Maggie Eisenga served for six straight points to give McBain a 15-10 lead.

Pine River hung tough, but three straight aces from Alyssa Johnson put her team up 21-13. Johnson had a kill to cut the McBain lead to 22-15. But Brooke Richards had a kill for her team’s final point.

“We fought pretty hard, especially the second game,” Johnson said. “The first game was a little rough, the third game as well. We got tired mentally and physically. The second game we did a lot of good things and kept up with them and our serve receive was really good. Our offense was good at times.”

For the Bucks, Johnson had six kills and 11 digs; KayLee Goodman added six kills, 10 digs and four blocks and Julie Justin generated 20 digs.

“The girls had a lot of potential and I hope they learned a lot about the attitude it takes to have a successful season from the beginning point all the way to the end,” Dennis said.

Pine River was 20-25-7 this season.

“It’s always tough when a season ends for a team, especially when it ends sooner than you want,” Dennis said. “The woulda, coulda, shouldas can easily consume you. The girls on this team are special.

“We will definitely miss (seniors) Tailor Charles, Chelsey TerBurgh and Kyla Johnson. They dedicated a lot of themselves to this team and program. Hopefully as this team moves forward, those returning will remember the feeling and strive to not let that repeat.”

Lake City 3, Evart 0

Evart’s season ended with  a 25-7, 25-15, 25-4 loss to Lake City in the district last week at Evart.

Allyssa Witbeck had a kill late in the first game for Evart. McKenzie Kimball had a tip and a kill for the Wildcats in the second game. Loraine Foster had a kill in the third game for Evart.

“Volleyball went really good,” Witbeck, a senior, said. “We may not have had the wins, but we had the teamwork, and it was great playing with all the girls.”