Pine River falls to Big Rapids in final regular-season dual match

BIG RAPIDS — The Big Rapids volleyball team ended the regular season in style on Thursday night, picking up a 3-0 sweep over Pine River at home.

The Cardinals ran out to an early 4-2 advantage in the first set before a kill by Pine River’s KayLee Goodman tied things up at 4-4. The contest went back-and-forth before the Cardinals maneuvered out to a four-point advantage at 14-10, forcing a Pine River timeout.

The Cards continued to roll out of the break, pushing the lead to 18-10 to cap off an 8-0 Big Rapids run before a Pine River ace from Kyla Johnson shocked some life back into the Bucks.

“Toward the end of the season, we wish we would’ve played better,” Pine River coach Jana Dennis said. “We had some really good intense moments, though.”

The third set started like the previous two, with another neck-and-neck battle as the teams matched each other point-for-point. Big Rapids finally pulled away with a 17-13 lead, forcing another Bucks timeout.

Goodman tallied another ace for the Bucks and Kyla Johnson scored a kill to make it 22-17, but Big Rapids’ Hannah Dadles followed up a kill with an ace of her own to push the Cardinals to a 25-19 win in the third set, giving Big Rapids a clean 3-0 sweep.

Julie Justin led the Bucks with 11 digs while Johnson led Pine River with 10 kills and Morgan Sumpter led the squad in passing.