LEROY — Bring on the tournaments. The Pine River volleyball team is ready.

The Bucks concluded the Highland Conference season at 5-2 with a 25-14, 25-16, 25-14 victory over Lake City Tuesday night, Oct. 25.

“For a senior night, I thought we did a decent job,” said Pine River coach Jana Dennis. “Our goal tonight was to go out and have fun.”

The Bucks play Clare Wednesday in Class c district semifinal action.

“It’s definitely a winnable district,” Dennis said. “I suspect it could be McBain and us in the finals.”

Pine River fired out to a 13-7 lead in the first game against Lake City. Jessica Hoaglund served for an ace and 22-12 lead. An improper serve by Lake City produced the 25th point.

Chelsea Nelson served for two aces to spark the Bucks to a 5-0 lead in the second game. She had a pair of aces later in the game for a 20-10 lead. Nelson’s tip and Elizabeth Whitley’s ace produced the final two points for the Bucks.

Pine River also dominated the third game and led 21-14. Whitley served four points in a row to clinch the victory.

“I think we stepped it up on our serve receive (tonight),” said Myriah Holmes, adding that in tournament play, “I think we’ll have to work hard but we can do it and I think we can do well.”

Graduating seniors that were honored were Jessica Hoaglund, Chelsea Nelson and Sheena Vokes.

“Communication and being one on the floor,” is the key for the Bucks to have a long post season, said freshman libero Kassy Nelson, Chelsea’s sister.

On Saturday, Pine River competed in the Highland Conference tournament and took second.

PR defeated Evart 25-19, 25-14, lost to McBain 25-22, 27-25, defeated Marion 25-17, 25-14, Manton 22-25, 25-18, 15-11, eliminated McBain 22-25, 25-21, 17-15 and lost to McBain 22-25, 25-21, 17-15.

In the title match, the Bucks lost to Beal City 25-21, 25-21.

For Pine River, Chelsea Nelson was credited with 18 kills, eight blocks, 85 assists, 65 digs and 35 aces while Holmes had 18 digs, Kassy Nelson 48 digs and Cayman Gatt 18 kills and 43 digs. Hoaglund added 25 kills, seven blocks, 18 digs and was 50-of-50 in serving while Jamie Justin had 14 kills,18 blocks and eight assists.

Pine River is 38-12-5.

“We started out the day a little sluggish but after losing to McBain early in the day we started putting things together,” Dennis said. “Fighting our way back to the finals was huge for this team. The girls did a great job of picking each other up and playing hard to the finish. We look forward to playing in districts this week.”


Evart took fifth place Saturday in the Highland Conference tourney at Manton.

The Wildcats lost 2-0 to Pine River and Manton 2-0 and defeated McBain Northern Michigan Christian 2-0 and Marion 2-0. With a 2-2 record, Evart ended the tournament.

“We played really good,” said Evart senior Chelsea Bengry. “Our hitting was really good and so was our serving.”

Evart plays Shelby Wednesday in Class C district action at Morley Stanwood.