By Leo Martonosi
HOLLAND—Saugatuck volleyball coach Sherri Austin would have been a tremendous cheerleader had she gone in that direction in high school or college.
“Everyone always marvels by Sherri’s enthusiasm,” said Liz Wilson, longtime athletic secretary at Saugatuck. “She’s just a ball of fire.”
That enthusiasm wasn’t quite enough to get the Indians over the hump in their first match at the Holland Tri Volleyball Invitation on Wednesday, Sept. 4, as they lost to the host Dutch by identical 25-21, 25-21 scores.
“The matches we lost were all close and within reach,” Austin said.
Saugatuck bounced back in their second match to beat Hopkins, to which the Indians had lost two previous clashes, in a tough three-set match.
“They played well and we didn’t play like we previously played against Saugatuck,” said Hopkins coach Terrie Wisser.
The Indians won a 25-21 nail-bitter in the first set versus the Vikings, who captured the second set 25-18 to force the decisive third set.
Although Hopkins appeared to have momentum on its sides, the Indians regrouped to win the third set 15-10, to upend the Vikings.
“We dug really deep to pull out the win,” Austin said.
Saugatuck junior standout setter-hitter Zoe Myers wasn’t surprised by the way the Indians increased their intensity level against Hopkins.
“We need to always play like we did against a very good team like Hopkins,” said Myers, who checked in with 15 assists, 10 kills and five digs.
Aerin Baker finished with 12 kills and three blocks for Saugatuck, while Ellery Gentry had 12 digs and eight aces. Katie Ayers had six kills and four blocks; Karrisa Moerler had seven kills and six digs; Gracelynn Miller had six assists, three digs and one ace; and Josie Lubben had three kills, four digs and one ace. Credited with five digs for the Indians was Emma Walker.
The Indians were back in action on Monday, Sept. 9, when they hosted a quad match. Saugatuck came away with a 3-0 record, beating Rivertown (25-13, 25-19), Godwin (25-22, 17-25, 15-12) and Wellspring Prep (25-18, 25-16).
Myers and Baker each had 17 kills, with Myers adding 17 assists and Baker going for four blocks. Ellery Gentry led with 14 digs.
By Leo Martonosi