Belding makes it two in a row at DN Invite


By Chip Burch • Last Updated 2:00 pm on Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Belding Redskins won The Daily News Volleyball Invitational on Saturday at home. The Redskins defeated Tri County in three sets to win the championship for the second consecutive season. The team consists of, front row from left, Greta Wilker, Sam McNeal and Brooke Linebaugh; back row from left, Izzy Wood, coach Mikayla Linebaugh, Summer Eubank, Emily Byrne, Olivia Stephan, Jo McCully, Kimmie Thomas, Sarah Brownell and Madison Gregory. Missing from photo is Lexi Pilkington. – Courtesy photo

The Redskins won the opening tournament of the season, the Daily News Invitational at their own gym.

Last year, Belding beat its archrival Greenville. This time around they knocked off the Tri County Vikings for the trophy by scores of 13-25, 25-22, 15-7.

This after the two teams played each other in pool play and split two games.

“First day, no seniors, can’t complain about a win on the starting day so I was very happy,” Belding coach Mikayla Linebaugh said.

Belding had a better seed in the pool because of point differential against the Vikings in pool play, so they started with Carson City-Crystal in the bracket play.

The Eagles went down in straight games, as did Central Montcalm against Tri County.

“The girls they’ve come a long way over the past couple of years,” Tri County coach Morgan Kehoe said.

Kehoe said the Redskins had the defense to win.

“They (Belding) were just scrappy on defense,” Kehoe said. “They were just picking everything up. Everything hard we were hitting at them they were bringing it right back. We were able to block it down and they were able to pick it back up.”

Belding was led by Johanna McCully with 30 kills and three blocks. Greta Wilker added seven aces and 66 digs, and Brooke Linebaugh dished out 65 assists.

“I think we stayed pretty aggressive,” Mikayla Linebaugh said. “I thought at the net we started to make some good choices and we didn’t miss a whole lot of serves in our zone serving.”

Tri County got 26 kills from Lena Thompson, 65 assists from Sam Inman, 31 digs from Morgan Fifield and five aces from Ally Durlan.

The Eagles were led by Hailey Gregory with 27 kills, Sierra Assemany with 32 digs and seven aces and Katlyn Dailey with 56 assists.

“It was good,” CC-Crystal coach Ashley Seals said. “They (CC-Crystal) definitely showed me they can be good but we have got to work on our consistency. We’re kind of a roller coaster at times. I think if they continue to play together they’ll do well.”

The Green Hornets got 31 kills from Hannah Hollenbeck. Hollenbeck, Jenna Switzer and Makayla Studley had four aces each, Studley had 37 digs and Hailey Hollenbeck, Hannah’s sister, made 39 assists.

Greenville needed to split with Central Montcalm to advance but the Yellow Jackets got beat. They finished 3-3.

“For the most part I think the girls started out strong and taking care of what they needed to,” Greenville coach Shane Wilcox said. “At the end we just made a lot of errors. We forced a lot of our points out and essentially beat ourselves.”

Lakeview was dismissed early after going only 3-3 in pool play.

“Compared to what I saw with our scrimmages I thought we did better in our scrimmages than what we did (Saturday),” Wildcats coach Amber Fifelski said. “The last couple of games they started picking it up and playing good constructive volleyball.”

Montabella went winless in pool play.

“First time out we didn’t do too bad,” Mustangs coach Jordann Jankowsky said. “We got off on a couple teams early on then we fell through after that. We have to work on playing as hard at the end of the game as we did at the beginning of the game.”

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