Belding ready for Swan Valley

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 9:49 am on Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Belding’s Gabby Holyfield skies to tap the ball over the nete during a match this season.

BELDING — Belding’s volleyball team has a long road ahead of them –— literally.

The Redskins will have a long trip to travel to Pinconning today to play in the Class B regionals. Pinconning, for those who haven’t looked it up on a map, is north of Bay City on the other side of the state.

Belding coach Mikayla Linebaugh said the team is raring to go.

“They’re excited, they’re anxious. I think you have to be a little nervous,” Linebaugh said. “A lot of teams aren’t playing any more, so you have to have fun with it.”

Linebaugh said she isn’t sure how the long bus ride will affect her team.

“I don’t have anything to compare it to,” she said. “We’re getting a charter bus for the kids and we’re trying to make it easy on the kids. We’re trying to do things that we don’t get to do in a normal season. I can’t say it’s going to affect us or not because I’ve never been in the situation.”

When they get to Pinconning, they will face the Saginaw Swan Valley Vikings, who got there by beating Tri Valley Conference Central Division foe Freeland.

“I looked a little bit online,” Linebaugh said. “I know they were in the same conference as Alma. Freeland won the conference. They lost to Freeland in five (in the conference finals) and they turned around and beat Freeland in the districts. I don’t know everything and you can’t underestimate anyone there so you have to have your ‘A’ game on.”

Belding got to the regionals by beating Central Montcalm in three games to win the Alma distrtict.

Linebaugh isn’t looking at any specific thing that will determine whether the Redskins will move on or get knocked out of the tournament.

“I just think going out on the floor and having the confidence in ourselves and know we can play with anybody,” she said. “We have to relax on defense. No one is going to play perfect game. We just have to run our offense and play good defense.”

The Redskins and Vikings will play in the second game at 7 p.m. today. The first game will pit Chippewa Hills against Essexville Garber at 5 p.m. The regional final will be Thursday.

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