Ohiohsvb.com News About Ohio High School Volleyball
Bedford Athletic Booster Classic - January 29, 2005
East Kentwood's first ever cross-state trip to Bedford High School was a rousing success as the fourth ranked Falcons nipped their fifth ranked hosts in the championship match 30-28, 22-25, 15-12 to win the Bedford Athletic Boosters' Classic.
These teams also met in the title match of the Portage Northern Invitational in December and East Kentwood corralled the Kicking Mules in that one too. But winning at Bedford was sweeter.
(The two teams had also expected to tangle in the Falcon's annual invitational on January 22, but that was cancelled by the same snowstorm that dumped 30 inches of snow on parts of New England).
Falcon coach Roxane Steenhuysen, obviously pleased with her team's performance, said afterward "They played great, we played great, it was a great match”.
It was a great tournament as sixteen teams, six of them ranked, battled for twelve hours and ten minutes through 46 matches to determine a winner.
The invitational was attended by scouts from at least seventeen universities, including Ohio St., Michigan, Michigan State, and from as far away as Georgetown.
The title match, which was as close and exciting as the score indicates, was the teams' second meeting of the day. Bedford won a power pool match that featured huge momentum swings. The Mules romped in game one 25-13, and the Falcons soared to a 25-8 blowout in game two. East Kentwood scored first in game three but Bedford went on a six point run and led thereafter, staving off Falcon mini rallies to win 15-10.
There were momentum shifts in finale too but they occurred during the games, keeping things close.
The Falcons charged out to a quick 5-0 lead. Sophomore Megan Racette thwarted Bedford's first parry with a nice dig, one of many nifty defensive plays she would make, and rightside Ali Pettit blasted a kill. The 5'10" Pettit, who will play softball for Central Michigan next season, followed with an ace, and juniors Katie VanderMeer and Whitney Tremain teamed up for a block on Bedford's Veronica Rood.
Bedford responded with a 7-1 run led by Lexi Leonhard's three kills. Stephanie Champine, Kali Kuhl and Amy Zuccarell also spiked for points.
But an errant serve started another five point rally for East Kentwood. Krista Groce scored on a tip, VanderMeer placed a dump, and Katie Greiner served two aces.
That made it 11-7 and the Falcons edged further ahead 18-12.
However, Rood scored a block and two kills to spark a 6-1 Bedford run that cut the margin to 19-18, and the Mules finally went ahead 23-22 on an ace by Kelsey Cousino.
The lead went back and forth after this with East Kentwood having game point serves at 24, 25 and 28, and Bedford at 26 and 27.
East Kentwood took a 29-28 lead on a kill by sophomore standout Lauren Jones, and VanderMeer served up an ace for the win.
East Kentwood's intermission huddle started with the exhortation "All right, we're not done, we're not done!".
Rood scored first for Bedford in game two on a hit that was blocked out, but East Kentwood moved on top 4-2 getting two kills from Jones.
On the next play, the Falcons tried a fake in the middle with Jones following to spike a short set. But Zuccarell was on top of this and her block brought Petra Whitcraft to the line for a six point run that put Bedford up 8-4.
Jones ended that spurt with a kill, and she and Groce scored three more points to tie.
Leonard broke the Falcon's run with a kill but East Kentwood went up 11-9 on a scorcher by Jones, a block from Groce and a well placed hit by Melissa Toutzy.
The teams traded leads with East Kentwood taking their final edge at 16-14 on an ace by Youtzy.
Bedford scored five straight with Kuhl leading the attack, and after two more ties took the lead for good. The Falcons were hurt by two straight lifts that put the Mules up 22-20. Champine scored the game winning kill.
East Kentwood led all the way in game three, but play was intense, with the margin at one late in the match.
The Falcons charged in front 8-2 on three straight tips by Pettit and Groce. Leonard spiked a kill for sideout.
On the ensuing play Bedford setter Emily Fahrer scored a nicely placed dump. This came after a furious volley in which Champine dug two Falcon blasts and VanderMeer dug a bad pass off the bottom of the net.
Bedford got two more to make it 8-6, and the teams traded points with the Mules closing to 11-10. Youtzy nailed a kill and VanderMeer and Tremain teamed up for another block to give the Falcons some breathing room, but blasts by Champine and Leonhard cut the margin back to one at 13-12.
Bedford missed a golden opportunity when they hammered a free ball out of bounds. That put the Falcons on the verge and this time there were no freebies as Jones smashed the winning point.
East Kentwood had a brief scare in the semifinals, losing game one to a fired up Dearborn Divine Child, but was able to take charge of that match.
Divine Child, a perennial Class B Detroit area power, is also nicknamed the Falcons.
Their day began with a 25-8, 25-18 to East Kentwood. But from then they motored past Bay City Western, third ranked (Class C) Hanover-Horton, ninth ranked Forest Hills Central and two time defending Class A champion Fraser to earn the rematch.
Divine Child is led by senior outside Nicole Ellul and junior setter Ellen Mrowka.
It is hard to say whether opponents prefer Ellul in the front row or the back. She reads the defense like a book and is proficient at spiking into holes. But she's also a great passer, and it was fun watching her send hard to dig balls right to Mwroka.
The win over Forest Hills Central was big. Southwestern Michigan is the Class A power center, and Central is one of the powers. They came loaded with young hitters in juniors Brittany Bowen, Holly Cousins, and Ashley Snyder, plus sophs Emily Good at middle and Nicole Peter.
But beating Fraser was bigger because the two time defending Class A champs have ruled Detroit for four years. And while they lost three four- year starters, including setter Angie McGinnis who came close to leading Florida over eventual NCAA champ Stanford, and Katie Price now at Penn State, Fraser's cupboard is hardly bare.
The Ramblers have solid setting in sophomore Taylor Hicks, and freshman Brittany McGinnis who can also hit. Add Adrienne Leone, Mary McGinnis and Tania Schatow, all 5'10" or more, and you have a formidable attack.
But the Falcons clawed their way to a 25-23, 25-21 win. Game one went back and forth with the Divine Child up 5-2, 13-10, and 19-18, and Fraser in front 9-7, 18-15 and 21-19. The Ramblers still led 23-22 when the Falcons made their final charge.
Ellul scored on a nice tip into a hole, Jacqueline Radwan spiked a kill, and after a great dig by Mrowka on a smash from Mary McGinnis, Ellul hammered the winner.
After winning the second game, they continued their magic in the semifinal against East Kentwood.
After an early 2-0 Divine Child lead, East Kentwood went up 6-3 and 13-9, but a rally by Divine Child tied it. After a brief Divine Child lead, East Kentwood went back on top 18-15.
Radwan then scored a sideout for Dearborn and Amanda Cieslak served up 5 straight points for a 21-18 lead. After Mrowka and Sarah Segerson scored kills to put Divine Child up 23-19, East Kentwood tied it on a smash down the line by Jones.
Ellul sealed the win, spiking through the block, then two-handing a pop over the defense.
East Kentwood roared back to win the match, but the Falcons from Dearborn showed they are to be reckoned with come March Madness.
Pool Play – Round 1
Bedford def. Southgate Anderson 25-10, 25-10
Pinckney def. Livonia Ladywood 25-19, 25-21
Bedford def. Pinckney 25-15, 25-23
Livonia Ladywood def. Southgate Anderson 25-13, 25-8
Forest Hills Central def. Ypsilanti Lincoln 25-21, 23-25, 15-8
Fraser def. Rochester Adams 25-15, 25-11
Fraser def. Forest Hills Central 22-25, 26-24, 15-9
Rochester Adams def. Ypsilanti Lincoln 25-20, 25-19
East Kentwood def. Dearborn Divine Child 25-8, 25-18
Flushing def. Bay City Western 25-23, 25-22
East Kentwood def. Flushing 25-17, 25-21
Dearborn Divine Child def. Bay City Western 25-17, 25-22
Bloomfield Hills Marian def. Jackson 25-18, 25-17
Hanover-Horton def. St. John's 25-21, 25-15
Bloomfield Hills Marian def. Hanover-Horton 25-18, 26-24
St. John's def. Jackson 20-25, 25-20, 16-14
Pool Play – Round 2
Bedford def. Fraser 25-18, 25-22
East Kentwood def. Bloomfield Hills Marian 25-12, 25-27, 15-6
Bedford def. East Kentwood 25-13, 8-25, 15-10
Fraser def. Bloomfield Hills Marian 25-15, 15-25, 15-13
Pinckney def. Rochester Adams 15-25, 25-18, 15-10
Flushing def. St. John's 25-15, 25-10
Pinckney def. Flushing 18-25, 25-20, 15-12
St. John's def. Rochester Adams 25-20, 25-22
Forest Hills Central def. Livonia Ladywood 19-25, 28-26, 15-6
Dearborn Divine Child def. Hanover-Horton 25-18, 30-28
Dearborn Divine Child def. Forest Hills Central 18-25, 25-20, 15-9
Hanover-Horton def. Livonia Ladywood 25-19, 25-18
Southgate Anderson def. Ypsilanti Lincoln 25-16, 25-11
Jackson def. Bay City Western 25-13, 23-25, 15-9
Jackson def. Southgate Anderson 25-19, 25-12
Bay City Western def. Ypsilanti Lincoln 25-15, 25-20
Finals – Round 3
Bedford def. Forest Hills Central 25-22, 25-17
Bloomfield Hills Marian def. Pinckney 15-25, 25-22, 15-13
East Kentwood def. Flushing 25-20, 25-12
Dearborn Divine Child def. Fraser 25-23, 25-21
Bedford def. Bloomfield Hills Marian 25-17, 25-22
East Kentwood def. Dearborn Divine Child 23-25, 25-15, 15-6
East Kentwood def. Bedford 30-28, 22-25, 15-12
Ypsilanti Lincoln def. St. John's 26-28, 25-22, 15-9
Jackson def. Livonia Ladywood 25-20, 19-25, 15-12
Hanover-Horton def. Bay City Western 21-25, 25-13, 15-8
Southgate Anderson def. Rochester Adams 25-14, 25-19
Ypsilanti Lincoln def. Jackson 25-20, 20-25, 15-13
Hanover-Horton def. Southgate Anderson 25-15, 25-11
Hanover-Horton def. Ypsilanti Lincoln 25-22, 25-13