Vikings advance to district finals with 3-0 sweep vs. Standish
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The varsity volleyball team from Grayling High School, after a first round bye, advanced to the District 62-B championship game with a 3-0 semifinal sweep of the Standish Sterling Central Panthers on Wednesday night at Harrison High School.
The Vikings won 25-14 in game one of the series.
With the score tied at 3-3 early in the contest, Mallory Hatfield served consecutive aces for Grayling. The Vikings scored on a block by Madison Longendyke. Grayling led 8-3 after two kills by Allie Moffit. The Vikings scored again on a block by Moffit.
Later, with the Vikings leading 10-7, Moffit served consecutive aces. Grayling also scored on a kill by Nicole Oppermann.
The Vikings led 18-13 late in game one. Down the stretch, Grayling outscored Standish Sterling Central 7-1, scoring on a kill by Moffit, a kill by Oppermann, an ace by Ellie Wagner, and winning four other volleys.
Grayling led 7-1 early in game two of the series. The Vikings scored on two aces by Oppermann, an ace by Hatfield, and a block by Longendyke.
Grayling built its lead to as many as nine, 21-12, scoring on a kill by Hatfield, an ace by Gracie Lochinski, and two aces by Hatfield.
The Panthers rallied to pull within four, 23-19, but Grayling won the next two volleys to clinch a 25-19 victory in game two.
The Vikings led 9-6 after the first 15 serves of game three. Points for Grayling included a kill by Longendyke, two kills by Oppermann, and a kill by Esa Powers. Lochinski served an ace. Oppermann hit through a block attempt for a kill. The Vikings scored on a kill by Moffit and an ace by Oppermann. Longendyke had two kills. Grayling led 21-13.
Moffit and Oppermann had kills for GHS down the stretch, and the Vikings won 25-16, sealing a 3-0 series victory, and earning a place in the District 62-B championship match.
“By far the most complete three games we played all year,” Coach Tim Zigila said. “Outside hitters Nicole Oppermann and Allie Moffit dominated at their position all three games. The setters – Grace Lochinski and Mallory Hatfield – really distributed the ball well and placed the ball where the hitters could capitalize and put the ball down. Hailey Hartman and Kaylynn Childers played well from the right side and the middle hitters/blockers – Madi Longendyke and Esa Powers – hit and blocked well, keeping Standish on their heels. Our passers – Kyla Roach and Ellie Wagner – really dug the ball well and made great passes to the setters. We played confident and aggressive and controlled the pace of the game.”
Season ends for Grayling with loss vs. Gladwin in district title game
The GHS varsity girls volleyball team ended its 2017 season with a 3-0 series loss vs. the Flying G’s of Gladwin in the District 62-B tournament’s championship round at Harrison High School on Thursday night.
Game one was close halfway through the contest – Gladwin had a 12-11 advantage after the first 23 serves – but the Flying G’s pulled away after that, outscoring Grayling 13-5 in the next 18 serves.
Gladwin took game one 25-16.
Highlights for Grayling included a kill by Allie Moffit off of a block attempt, an ace by Ellie Wagner, a kill by Mallory Hatfield, and two more kills by Moffit.
Gladwin outscored Grayling 21-10 to start game two. The first 10 points for the Vikings included an ace by Esa Powers, an ace by Gracie Lochinski, a kill by Nicole Oppermann, and a kill by Madison Longendyke.
Grayling rallied to pull within six, 22-16, but the Flying G’s won 25-17. The Vikings scored on kills by Longendyke and Moffit down the stretch in game two.
Game three, similar result as the first two games. Close early, with Gladwin pulling away late. The Flying G’s led by one 12-11, after the first 23 serves. Grayling’s 11 points included a kill by Hailey Hartman, a kill by Moffit, an ace by Wagner, two kills by Oppermann, and a kill by Hatfield.
The Flying G’s outscored the Vikings 13-6 in the next 19 volleys to clinch a 25-17 victory in game three, winning the District 62-B tournament championship.
Coach Tim Zigila said the series vs. Gladwin was the “complete opposite” of the team’s performance in the district semifinals vs. Standish Sterling Central one night earlier.
“We came out flat, did not communicate, lacked the confidence/swagger from the night before, and played from behind the whole match. I was very excited to win the night before and have an opportunity to play in the district final, would have liked to won, but it didn’t happen,” Coach Zigila said.
The loss vs. Gladwin ended Grayling’s 2017 campaign.
“Overall it was a good season. The girls played well and improved every week. I thought we played a rigorous schedule that tested us every week. Between a tough conference and five tournaments we were busy and played good competition. I am pleased with our overall result, finishing fourth in the conference and third in the conference tournament. We were young – one senior with varsity experience – and were competitive in all of our games. As for the future, we are losing four seniors and will have some upcoming sophomores to fill those spots,” Coach Zigila said.