Garden City’s volleyball team hosted Monday’s Class A district dinnertime match against Redford Thurston and served the Eagles a plateful of aces and a side dish of kills.
Playing in the first-round 5:30. game, the Cougars were an exceptional 96 percent from the service line (72 for 75) with 12 aces while sweeping the Eagles, 25-8, 25-11, 25-7, to advance into Wednesday’s semifinal game against Livonia Franklin.
Two other Livonia schools – Stevenson and Churchill – will meet in the 5:30. semifinal encounter.
Garden City was even better on the receiving end of serves as it handled everything the Eagles launched at them.
Other key statistical numbers compiled by the winners included 33 kills (48 percent success rate), 26 assists and 21 digs.
Not surprisingly, GC head coach John Pace couldn’t have been any more satisfied with the effort his surging team turned in.
“This was a great way to start districts,” said Pace. “Thurston is a young team and we were able to utilize our experience. We played a very mature match. Our seniors played exceptional. They were 33 for 35 serving and nine for nine on serve receive. They had 17 of our kills and 16 digs.
“You are a very proud coach when your seniors can lead the way they did.”
The Cougars’ contingent of talented seniors includes Taylor Bejma, Holly Sayger, Emily Hoffman, AshlynnCaviness and Hannah Vera-Burgos, all of whom made mighty contributions to their team’s successful night.
Bejma was a perfect 7-for-7 on serve receive in addition to picking up 10 digs. Sayger was nearly unstoppable at the net, producing 12 kills at a .733 success rate. Junior Allie Lynn also played well, knocking down seven kills.
The Cougars never trailed aginast an inexperienced Thurston team that included just three seniors. GC pounced on the Eagles early in sets two and three when they mounted leads of 11-0 and 10-0, respectively.
Junior Heather Pennington fueled the opening-set triumph when she picked up six straight points at the service stripe to increase her team’s lead to 10-3. An 11-0 service run by Hoffman set the tone for the second stanza.
Although Thurston struggled earning points, the Eagles played with a relentless fiestiness – especially junior libero Dasia Johnson, whose all-out hustle extended several points.
Kayla March recorded 14 kills and Haley Moores added 10 as Livonia Ladywood rolled to a 25-2, 25-6, 25-10 victory Monday over Southfield Bradford Academy in the Class B district opener Monday at Livonia Clarenceville.
The Blazers, who improved to 27-18-4 overall, also got 28 assists and nice ace serves from setter Emily Fradette, while MaddyMoschetta contributed 21 digs.
Ladywood returns to action 7 p.m. Wednesday at Clarenceville against Redford Union.
The Huron Valley Lutheran volleyball team improved to 24-15-5 Monday night when it ousted Lutheran South from the Class D district tournament, 25-10, 25-11, 25-10.
“The girls played well tonight,” said HVL head coach Mike Dest. “I was happy with our ball control and our communication on the floor. We have to have a good practice [Tuesday] and be ready to go on Wednesday for the second round of districts.”
Senior Madison Dest was spectacular for the winners, racking up 19 kills (on 21 attempts), six aces and five digs. Other standouts for the Hawks were Anne St. John (11 kills, five aces, 17 assists), Nikki Alcini (five kills, four aces, nine assists), Bethany Schaffer (20 service points and three digs), Ashley Setian (three aces and seven assists) and recent varsity call-up Sam Golchuk.