BRIDGMAN — Lakeshore and Bridgman both had chances to win the Monday, Sept. 27, Bridgman Volleyball Invitational but came up short.
Bridgman (20-7-1) started the day 2-0, defeating Decatur 25-13, 25-12 and Dowagiac 20-25, 25-15, 15-8. The Bees were close in their next two matches but couldn’t finish off a game, falling to Kalamazoo Christian 25-22, 27-25 before finishing with the loss to Lakeshore.
“I thought overall we had a pretty good night,” Bridgman coach Jim Ragosta said. “Toward the end, I don’t know if it was fatigue or what ... I just thought we lost some intensity, lost some enthusiasm on the court.
“There’s some good stuff there, but we’d like to finish out a little bit more.”
Takiya Cornelius led the Bees with 30 kills, setter Bella Gearhart had 55 assists, and Peyton Oman led the defense with 57 digs.
“I thought a lot of players really contributed some good stuff throughout the night,” Ragosta said.
Bridgman was holding its first event on its new gym floor, which features a distinctive honeycomb design inside the basketball 3-point line. The tournament was originally scheduled one week earlier, but delays in the construction pushed it back. The Bees had to practice at their middle school while the project was finished.
“We’re just excited to be back in here,” Bridgman athletic director Ken Schmaltz said. “(Floor Care Concepts) came to us with that design, and we just thought that was really something unique. A lot of workers said this is really turning out to be one of their favorite floors they’ve ever done.”
Lakeshore finished 2-2 in the five-team, round-robin tournament. Kalamazoo Christian, ranked No. 5 in Division 3, won with a 4-0 record, Dowagiac was also 2-2, and Decatur went 0-4.
Lakeshore took on Kalamazoo Christian in its final match, and a Lancer victory would’ve left both teams at 3-1 with Lakeshore holding the head-to-head tiebreaker. However, the Comets finished off their unbeaten day with a 25-21, 25-21 win.
“This was just an unfortunate loss for us,” Lakeshore coach Heidi Winkelmann said. “I thought this was something that we would be able to take. Just a lot of errors, a lot of hitting errors happening.”
Ava Mullen led the Lancers with 31 kills on the day. Isabella Ceru had a team-high 24 digs and Olivia DenDooven led in assists with 50.
Statistical leaders for the Bees included: Peyton Oman 5 aces, 5 kills, 1 assist, 57 digs; Haylee Kanous 2 aces, 8 kills, 3 assists, 1 block, 25 digs; Takiya Cornelius 2 aces, 30 kills, 1 block, 21 digs; Lily Barker 5 kills, 1 block, 3 digs; Tatyanna Hill 9 kills, 7 blocks, 5 digs; Bella Gearhart 5 aces, 6 kills, 55 assists, 25 digs; Kylie Ott 1 ace, 5 digs; Bre Russell 3 aces, 25 digs; Melanie Warren 1 ace, 1 dig; Ava Starbuck 1 kill, 4 blocks, 7 digs.
River Valley Tourney
Sturgis topped Watervliet 21-25, 25-21, 15-12 to win the Sept. 25 River Valley Invitational.
Watervliet topped Bridgman 25-18, 25-13 in one semifinal while Sturgis swept past White Pigeon in the other semi.
Pool play records included: Watervliet 3-0, Bridgman 2-1, Berrien Springs 0-2-1, New Buffalo 0-3.
Statistical leaders on the day included:
Bridgman – Peyton Oman 5 aces, 5 kills, 70 digs; Haylee Kanous 14 kills, 31 digs; Takiya Cornelius 37 kills, 2 blocks, 12 digs; Lily Barker 2 kills, 3 blocks, 2 digs; Tatyanna Hill 7 kills, 5 blocks; Bella Gearhart 2 aces, 2 kills, 59 assists, 29 digs; Melanie Warren 1 ace, 6 digs; Kylie Ott 16 digs; Bre Russell 1 assist, 29 digs; Ava Starbuck 1 ace, 3 kills, 2 blocks, 6 digs.
New Buffalo – Ashley Houseman 7 kills, 3 digs; Shannon Dewit 4 kills, 7 digs, 3 aces; Amanda Jones 4 kills, 27 digs; Jane Funk 8 kills; Ava Johnson 20 assists; Liz Schmock12 digs; Lyn Jones 3 kills, 7 digs; Ellie Cybuliski 3 kills, 3 blocks; Amelia Selir 4 digs.