St. Philips wins Cereal City title

St. Philips wins Cereal City title

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St. Philips wins Cereal City title

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It’s not often the St. Philip volleyball team has the opportunity to end a drought.

But the six-time reigning Class D state champions did just that on Saturday, winning the Cereal City Volleyball Classic at Battle Creek Central for the first time since the winter of 2007.

St. Philip claimed the title with a convincing 25-16, 25-16 win over Temperance Bedford in the finals.

“We played well, pretty much all day. I thought our passing and blocking in the finals was a big boost for us,” said St. Philip head coach Vicky Groat. “Excited to win the Cereal City. Any time you win a great tournament like this, it’s a great day for the Tigers.”

St. Philip (21-1 overall) advanced to the finals with a 25-16, 25-13 win over Mendon. In the quarterfinals, the Tigers topped Shelby 25-15, 25-13 after going 3-0 in pool play.

The Tigers were led on the day by Amanda McKinzie with 67 kills and 37 digs. Also for St. Philip, Lenae Lesiow had 118 assists, 21 digs and seven kills; Sierra Hubbard Neil had 34 kills, 38 digs and 11 aces; Samantha Ellis had 16 kills and 23 digs and Casey Gallagher had 15 kills and 17 digs.

Coldwater nearly met St. Philip in the finals, losing in a three-set semifinal to Temperance Bedford (25-18, 19-25, 15-12).

“They are a very good team, but so are we,” said Coldwater head coach Gene Pensari. “They played good defense. If anything, the game was won on defense. We have fantastic hitters. So we’ll be fine. The problem we have is we haven’t played good competition, and this was really good for us today, because the play was so much faster.”

Coldwater (13-2-1 overall) defeated Lakeview in the quarterfinals, 25-18, 25-16, after going 5-0-1 in pool play. The Cardinals were led on the day by BreeAnn Spangler with 45 kills, 55 digs and 10 blocks. Additionally, Lauren Outwater had 28 kills and 12 blocks; Janie Marso had 86 assists; Paige Holicki had 10 kills; Meghan Schorfhaar had 48 digs and Darby Kahler had 46 digs.

Lakeview went 2-1-1 in pool play. The Spartans (14-8 overall) were led by Macy McCullough with 29 kills and seven digs. Casey Looper had 27 kills, eight aces and four blocks; Julie Haring had 17 kills and six blocks; Payton Moore had 66 assists; and Madelyn Drikakis had eight digs and four aces.

Pennfield lost to Shelby in the Gold quarterfinals, 25-17, 25-23. The Panthers (7-6 overall), who went 2-1 in pool play, were led by Tristen Ehredt with 32 kills, 17 digs, two blocks and four aces. Armani Anderson had 14 kills, nine blocks, one ace; Hannah Lenz had 52 digs, four aces; Sydney Smyers had 52 assists, three aces, 19 digs; Taylin Jackson had 22 assists, nine digs, five aces; Aubrey Ritter had 11 kills, two blocks.

Harper Creek lost in the Silver quarterfinals to Caledonia 25-13, 20-25, 15-6 after going 0-1-2 in pool play. The Beavers (8-8-5) were led by Breanna Ganton with 14 kills, nine digs and three aces. Also for Harper Creek, Olivia Leson had 23 kills, seven blocks, and four aces; Lauren Grimes had 16 kills, two blocks and 19 digs; Lexi Latshaw had 31 digs and two aces; Kendall Latshaw had 26 digs; Megan Gwathney had 33 assists and Edrie Ganey had 37 assists.

Union City fell in the Silver semifinals, losing to Bay City Western 25-13, 25-16. The Chargers advanced with a 25-27, 25-21, 15-9 win over Flint Carmen Ainsworth after going 0-2 in pool play. Union City was led by Jasmine McIntosh with 70 assists, three aces, 24 digs and two kills. Martha Merchant had 14 kills, 44 digs, six blocks and five aces; Brooke Johnson had 39 kills and 28 blocks; Brittney Keller had 13 kills, 12 digs and two blocks; Riley Smith had 11 kills, 37 digs and four aces; and Marissa Mead had 64 digs.

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