Richmond players get in a huddle during the Pioneer Volleyball Invitational Saturday, September 12, 2015 at Cros-Lex High School.
CROSWELL — A large local contingent of teams traveled to the 18-team Croswell-Lexington Volleyball Invitational on Saturday.
But it was a school from out of the area that would dominate play. The Frankenmuth volleyball team put together an impressive performance, going 7-0-0 on the day without losing a set.
“The girls clicked today,” Frankenmuth coach Carrie Spengler said. “They played their hearts out and left everything on the floor and executed everything that we have been practicing.
“We tried to work on skills and tried to grow from there.”
In order to claim the tournament championship, Frankenmuth had to go through the host school Croswell-Lexington. The Pioneers were 5-1-1 on the day but lost to Frankenmuth 22-25, 13-25 in the finals of the Gold Division.
The Pioneers defeated Imlay City 25-22, 25-10; Sandusky 25-18, 25-15; Ubly 25-3, 25-15; Yale 25-21, 25-15; and Bad Axe 21-25, 25-21, 15-13 in the semifinals.
They split with Bad Axe 27-25, 17-25 in pool play.
“It’s a young team and it’s taken us a while to come together,” Cros-Lex senior Rachel Soper said after having 125 assists, 43 digs, 10 kills and three blocks on the day. “I’m really proud of how we have developed.”
Allessa Calamita had 62 serve receptions, 42 digs, 29 kills and four blocks to pace the Pioneers. Lexie Davidson added 59 kills, 46 serve receptions, 36 digs and five blocks and Claire Knapp had 60 serve receptions, 34 digs, 13 kills and six blocks for the Pioneers (15-9-4).
“We had a really tough August and we pushed through it,” Pioneers coach Ryan Wilson said. “To come through and make the finals of this tournament, we showed a lot of resiliency and we communicated as well as we have all year.
“The biggest thing from the last game (against Frankenmuth) is we can push and be positive even if we are down. That had been a big problem this year. No one likes losing. But we pushed ourselves and continued communicating through point 25. That’s all I want from them, positivity.”
Port Huron Northern, meanwhile, was the winner of the Silver Division after ending the day 4-1-1. They defeated St. Clair 25-21, 25-21 in pool play and also beat Yale 25-14, 25-22, but split with Brown City 22-25, 25-20 and lost to L’anse Creuse North 21-25, 15-25 to get knocked down to the Silver Division.
They recovered nicely with victories over Deckerville 25-9, 14-25, 25-6 and Almont 25-18, 25-19.
“I’m really happy,” Northern coach Tim Langolf said. “We had one match we didn’t play well. We were pretty flat on that one against L’Anse Creuse North. We had one other game against Deckerville that we didn’t play well and other than that we played really well. The girls are playing with a lot of confidence and are playing well.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the way the day went. We would have loved to make the Gold (Division) but we played to our ability and took advantage of being the Silver champion.”
Brooke Bowerman paced Northern with 89 assists, 21 service points and 19 digs. Halle Shell added 22 kills and seven blocks, Jillian Rousch had 43 digs, 22 service points and 13 aces, Sami Klink had 34 digs, 29 kills and 14 service points and Heidi Wilson had 32 digs, 30 service points and 10 aces for Northern (8-8-1).
Brown City, meanwhile, was 3-1-2 at the event. They split with L’Anse Creuse North 26-27, 25-20 and Northern. They defeated Memphis 25-10, 25-16 and Marlette 25-13, 25-14 and lost to Frankenmuth in the semifinals of the Gold Division 20-25, 19-25.
Alexia Mason had 87 assists, Jasmin Bender had 48 digs, Becki Krause had 46 kills and Kendal Muxlow had 26 kills for Brown City (13-2-3).
“Frankenmuth is a very tough team and I was proud of the way we battled both games,” Brown City coach Jenna Welke said. “Our girls played tough today and followed the game plan. We just caught some bad breaks we couldn’t bounce back from.”
Contact Joseph Hayes at (810) 989-6268 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter @jhayes1136.