Key Matches This Week: Class D-1
Johnson-Brock and Lourdes Central Catholic The 2 time defending class D1 champions Johnson-Brock begin their 2017 season on Tuesday night at Lourdes Central Catholic. This match will be the start to what could be a legendary season for Johnson-Brock.…
Johnson-Brock and Lourdes Central Catholic
The 2 time defending class D1 champions Johnson-Brock begin their 2017 season on Tuesday night at Lourdes Central Catholic. This match will be the start to what could be a legendary season for Johnson-Brock. No team has ever won 3 straight class D1 titles, but the Johnson-Brock Eagles could be the team to do it this year. The Eagles return setter Brynn Westenburg, MH Kaitlynn Simon and MH Husker commit Fallon Stutheit who put down 539 kills a season ago. We can expect that Fallon will lead the Eagles squad again this year with her blocking and attacking. If Westenburg can get Stutheit, as well as Simon and the other front row players in system, this Eagles squad could definitely win their 3rd consecutive state title this November.
Meridian and Silver Lake
The Meridian Mustangs play at Silver Lake on Thursday night. Meridian just swept Blue Hill this last Friday night, a Blue Hill team who also made it to the class D1 state tournament a year ago as well. Meridian is ranked as preseason #2 in the class D1 ratings after falling short against Johnson-Brock in the state title match a year ago. The Mustangs upset top ranked Johnson-Brock in the district finals, but the Eagles prevailed and beat the Mustangs in 4 sets for the class D1 championship last November. Last year’s championship loss is definitely going to influence the Mustang’s outlook on this season. They would want nothing more than to stop Johnson-Brock from winning their 3rd state title in a row, but the Eagles are still the overall favorite to win it again as of right now. Sweeping Blue Hill was an awesome start for Meridian, so Thursday night’s match should go well for them too if they play like they did against Blue Hill.
Ansley-Litchfield and Anselmo-Merna
Ansley-Litchfield and Anselmo-Merna begin the 2017 season at Ansley-Litchfield. The Ansley-Litchfield Spartans are the #3 preseason rated team and they made it to the state tournament a year ago. The Spartans from Ansley-Litchfield return Falan Ryan, Sarah Lewis and Mariah Lane. All 3 girls had over 100 kills last year. They also return setter Alyssa Bailey this year. If the Spartans play to their full potential they could definitely make it out of the first round at state this year, and maybe even make it to the finals. They have the 2 time defending champions in Johnson-Brock, as well as last year’s runner up Meridian standing in their way. This could be a great year for the Spartans and Thursday night’s match against Anselmo-Merna should be a fun one to watch.
Alma and Cambridge
The Alma Cardinals and the Cambridge Trojans begin their season at Alma on Thursday night. Alma will be a team playing with a chip on their shoulder this season. They fell short of making the state tournament last year and lost in the D1-5 district final a year ago. The Cardinals return Jadyn Heckenlively, Tiffany Wells and setter Madalyn Brugh from last year’s team. Thursday night’s match could be the start of a redemption season for Alma. Even though they have some spots to fill, they’re more than capable of being a contender to get to state this year. They’re ranked #7 in the preseason ratings and Thursday night’s match will be a nice start for them at home.
Blue Hill and Doniphan-Trumbull
After getting swept by Meridian in their season opener, Blue Hill will now be playing class C2 #10 preseason rated Doniphan-Trumbull at Doniphan-Trumbull Thursday night. The Doniphan-Trumbull Cardinals finished 3rd at state in C2 last year so this will be a great test for Blue Hill. The Blue Hill Bobcats are only ranked #10 in the preseason class D1 ratings, despite making it to state a year ago. The Bobcats return junior setter Jamie Bonifas, junior Kacey Allen – who led the team in kills a year ago – and fellow juniors Rylee Kohmetscher (MH) and Brianna Danehey (libero). If Blue Hill can get things back on track, they will definitely be contenders to get to state again. Thursday night’s match should be one of the most exciting matches this week.