Otsego’s Jaycie Callaway (left) battles Plainwell’s Sarah White at the net while Trojan Kenedie Booden (8) looks on. (Photo by Jason Wesseldyk)

Otsego upends Trojans final of league tourney

Jason Wesseldyk

Any hope Otsego volleyball coach Candace Holmes and her players had of capturing the overall Wolverine Conference championship had vanished.
Plainwell had seen to that. The Trojans, who finished atop the regular-season standings, wrapped up the league title by advancing to the finals of tournament on Saturday, Oct. 30, where they would take on the Bulldogs.
Still, Otsego had a chance to make a statement. And that’s exactly what the Bulldogs did.
After dropping the opening set against Plainwell, Otsego rallied to win the next three for the 15-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-15 victory.
The Bulldogs, who finished in a three-way tie for second place in the regular season, ended up second in the overall standings.
“I was really proud of the way the girls showed up and played,” Holmes said. “Clearly, the previous match with Plainwell (a five-set loss) did not have the outcome we would have liked, but we knew we had to go and take care of what we could control today.
“To outright win the conference or tie, we needed someone to knock Plainwell off before the finals. That didn’t happen, but yet the girls still played tough in the finals to win in four.”
Sadie Bronkema led Otsego with 36 kills to go with 26 digs, which was second on the team behind Erica MacQueen’s total of 31. MacQueen also had 25 kills and a team-best six aces.
Madison Haluch racked up 44 assists for Otsego, with Matti Rayman adding 14 kills.
“I was extremely happy with the improvements we made even from the previous week,” Holmes said. “The girls could have thrown in the towel because being in the finals gave us second either way, win or lose. Yet they played with a desire to win.
“We’re hoping the tournament win gives us some momentum going into postseason play. I have five seniors who are hungry to win a district. The girls are excited for the coming weeks. They’ve set a few goals that they would love to accomplish.”
In their earlier matches at the league tournament, the Bulldogs beat Sturgis 25-20, 25-18 and upended Vicksburg 21-25, 25-20, 15-10 in the semifinals.

For full story, pick up a copy of the November 3 issue of The Allegan County News or The Union Enterprise or subscribe to the e-edition.

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