LEROY – The Pine River volleyball team would prefer to be playing this week in the state tournament.

But a season of promise was not meant to be in the playoffs for the Bucks who lost in the Class C district finals to McBain.

The team’s final record was 41-18-2.

“We had more wins than two years ago,” said Pine River coach Jana Dennis, referring to her team’s trip to the semifinals of the state tourney back in 2010. “The end of the season was kind of a letdown. We wanted to get back to where we were years ago. Overall, the girls overcame a lot of adversity. It was overall, a successful season..”

Pine River won the Glen Lake Invitational and was runner-up at other tournaments.

“We played very well at the Morley Stanwood tournament up until the end and gave Morley a run for their money,” Dennis said.

The Bucks will lose four girls that are graduating this season: Cayman Gatt, Myriah Holmes, Christie Nelson and Jamie Justin. Gatt and Justin were hitters, Nelson was at libero and Holmes played rightside.

But plenty of talent will return for the 2013 season with the likes of Kassy Nelson, Paige Esiline, Elizabeth Whitley, Rachel Motzer, Michelle Kelsey and Alexis Stokely.

“They’re already talking about next year,” Dennis said. “We should be able to do very well.”

Dennis noted that Beal City, still in the state tournament, and McBain provide stiff competition in the Highland.

“We match up well with McBain,” she said. “Beal City was tough again.”