Pine River girls sweep Evart

volleyball: Evart's Tabby Turley (6) goes after the ball against Pine River last week. (Herald Review photo/John Raffel)
volleyball: Evart’s Tabby Turley (6) goes after the ball against Pine River last week. (Herald Review photo/John Raffel)

LEROY — The Highland Conference volleyball season ends for Pine River and Evart  at McBain this Saturday.

Both teams are in district action next week at Pine River. Evart plays Monday against Beaverton in a 6 p.m. fist round game. Pine River plays 6 p.m. Nov.  6 against Beal City or  Sanford Meridian in the district semifinals.

Pine River had the right momentum in all three games against Evart Tuesday night (Oct. 22) in a 25-10, 25-17, 25-17 victory in the final home volleyball match of the season for the Bucks.

Paige Esiline had an ace in the first game to help Pine River bolt out to a 16-4 lead. Michelle Kelsey, who had 11 kills and six digs for the night, was attacking the net well in the first game to spark the Bucks to the win.

Paige Esiline, who had six aces and four kills, served two aces to spark the Bucks to a 9-5 lead in the second game. Rachel Mozter had an ace for Pine River in building up a 12-6 lead.

Kirsten Parsons kept Evart in the game with a block for a 22-16 Pine River score. Kelsey had two more kills to spark the Bucks to their game-winning points.

The Bucks had some problems with their serves in the third game and were hanging onto a 13-11 lead. Alexis Stokely started serving well and had seven straight points including four aces for a 21-12 lead. Kelsey had a kill for her team’s 25th point.

“I thought we played well,” Pine River coach Jana Dennis said. “Our seniors did a great job with their last night on the home court. Our intensity in the first game was pretty good. We got everyone in and got some playing time.”

Also for Pine River, Alexis Stokely had 22 assists, four aces and four kills while Motzer had two aces and two kills. Pine River is 23-14-1 overall and 5-1 in the conference.

“We could have done better but we played better than normal,” Motzer said.  “We communicated better.”

Seniors playing their last home match for the Bucks were Esiline, Kelsey, Motzer and Stokely.

“The seniors did a great job tonight,” Dennis said. “They worked well to make senior night a success.”

For Evart, 4-14 overall, Tabby Turley had five digs while Kirsten Kullman had one ace and Parsons had five blocks.

“We didn’t play that well,” Evart coach Krissy Weidenfeller said.  “Our blocking was pretty good.”

Evart recorded its fourth win of the season in a 3-2 score at Mesick last Thursday (Oct. 17).

“The key is the girls wanted to win that game,” Weidenfeller said. “They went out and fought really hard. It was the determination and desire to win that.”