Since 2007, Battle Creek has been the high school volleyball capital of Michigan as host to the Michigan High School Athletic Association State Semifinals and Finals.
But the term ‘volleyball hotbed’ has long been used to describe the Cereal City, thanks to the strength of its five major high school programs: Battle Creek Central, Harper Creek, Lakeview, Pennfield and St. Philip.
Each week (Monday-Friday) leading up to the MHSAA Semifinals and Finals, the Battle Creek Enquirer will count down the top five players from the city volleyball programs, revealing the ‘Greatest of All Time’ (G.O.A.T.) each Friday. Then fans will have an opportunity to vote for who they think is the G.O.A.T. at each school.
BATTLE CREEK CENTRAL VOLLEYBALL
5. Lauren Riddle – Class of 1999
Riddle played on some of the most successful teams in Battle Creek Central history. A three-time All-City selection, she helped the Bearcats reach the 1998 Class A State Quarterfinals as a junior, finishing the season with 441 digs. She took on a greater role in her senior campaign, showing her versatility by leading the team in both kills (536) and digs (376) while guiding Battle Creek Central to its third consecutive city title and picking up All-State honors along the way. She went on to play two seasons at Grand Valley State University as a defensive specialist, helping the Lakers win the 2000 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title while qualifying for the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time in program history.
What the panel said: “As an outside hitter, she was what we’d call a terminator.”
Nick Buckley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 269-966-0652. Follow him on Twitter:@NickJBuckley