St. Philip pulled out a 2-1 championship match victory over Lakeview on Saturday, ensuring the Tigers’ sixth-straight All-City Tournament title.
Lakeview won the first set by a score of 25-20, but the Tigers found a way to come back, winning the final two sets of the day 25-22 and 15-13.
“The final was amazing. Lakeview came out ready to play,” said St. Philip coach Vicky Groat. “But for us to battle back in the second and third games, it made for a great All-City final.
“I think this is one of the hardest tournaments all year because of the intensity that has to carry through the whole day. They’re all friends out there across the net from each other, but they all want to beat each other, and that makes it very intense.”
Miss Volleyball Award finalist Sierra Hubbard-Neil led the Class D top-ranked Tigers with 70 kills and 47 digs on the day. Also for St. Philip, Stephanie Gusching had 23 kills, Abby McKinzie had 48 digs and Emily Shaub had 129 assists.
Lakeview’s leader was Casey Looper with 47 kills and 37 digs. Julie Haring finished with 30 kills and seven blocks, while Julia Miller tallied 111 assists for the tournament. Mei Kimoto also helped the Spartans with 10 aces.
“I’m happy with the way we finished – playing at very high level,” said Lakeview head coach Heather Sawyer. “It was a difficult loss because we had chances to win, but we need to learn and move ahead.”
Each of the five teams participated in round-robin style play to determine their seeding in the final bracket, playing two sets against each of the four other squads.
Harper Creek lost to Lakeview 17-25 and 24-26 in their semifinal matchup. They went 2-0-2 in pool play, beating Battle Creek Central and Pennfield and splitting with St. Philip and Lakeview. Leading the Beavers were Kim Kusler with 26 kills and Olivia Leson with 24 kills, 33 digs and nine aces. Also for Harper Creek, Edrie Ganey finished with 55 assists and Lauren Grimes had 23 kills and 30 digs on the day.
Pennfield and St. Philip met up in the other semifinal game, with St. Phlip winning by scores of 25-13 and 25-12. The Panthers went 1-3 in round-robin play, beating Battle Creek Central and losing to Harper Creek, Lakeview and St. Philip. Leading the Panthers were Armani Anderson with 18 kills, Hannah Lenz with 13 aces and 14 digs, and Kaylee Jackson with 32 assists. Hannah Pay and Tess Needham each finished with six blocks.
Battle Creek Central finished 0-4 in pool play. Leading the Bearcats were Madisonn Jackson with 15 kills and Mikayla Robinson with 14 kills.
“We played much better back row today,” said BCC head coach Gene Pensari. “We’re a new team and I think we played really well today.”