Reed City defeats Shelby, falls to Big Rapids

BIG RAPIDS — The Big Rapids and Reed City volleyball teams both went 1-1 at a tri-meet on Thursday.

Big Rapids lost to Shelby 2-0 (18-25, 12-25) and beat Reed City 2-0 (25-21, 26-24). The Coyotes defeated Shelby 2-0 (25-23, 25-23).

Coyotes’ coach Don Patterson said he was impressed with his team in both matches. “We keep improving and improving a little bit every week,” he said. “I feel we have improved quite a bit. I think the scores show that. I think the kids feel that. We keep telling them it’s a process. It’s a growth throughout the year.”

Reed City’s Hanna Price had seven kills and 26 digs.

Meghan Borst had seven kills, while Liza Emington had four kills and 19 assists. Ally Yarger totaled eight kills and 22 digs, and Megan Donley had five kills and 21 digs.

It wasn’t expected to be an easy match for the Reed City volleyball team (Sept. 29) against the eighth-ranked team in the state in Class B.

It wasn’t.

Grant (4-0, 23-2) proved to be worth its ranking in a 25-11, 25-10, 25-14 victory over the Coyotes (0-3, 9-18-2).

“They do a lot of nice things,” Reed City coach Don Patterson said. “They stress you a lot with their offense. Their setter is really solid. They run a pretty quick tempo, second tempo.”

After the Tigers dominated the first two games, Reed City stayed close in the early portions of the third game before Grant took control. Megan Donley had a kill to give the Coyotes a 3-1 lead.

Kristen Wegener served an ace, and followed that with a kill to give the visitors a 9-6 lead. Meghan Borst’s tip for Reed City cut it to 10-9. But then Grant went on a roll, backed by six service points from Courtney Wegener and a block from Laura Bouwkamp for a 16-9 lead.

Grant continued to dominate at the net, and Bouwkamp and Hannah Anderson had consecutive  kills for a 20-10 Grant lead.

During the two timeouts he took during the third game, Patterson had some clear instructions for his team.

“We needed to serve a little better, a little tougher to take some of that offense away,” Patterson said. “We didn’t serve as well as we have in the past couple of weeks. If you don’t serve well against somebody that passes that well and runs all those offenses, it stresses you.”

Donley and Price had three kills while Borst and Liza Emington had two and Sidney Rushford produced one.

Yarger had 12 digs while Price collected 11, Emington had nine, Donley six, Storch three and Borst and Alyssa Olds had one apiece.

Sports editor Ryan Zuke contributed to this report.