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VOLLEYBALL: Pirates still 'own' Taylor volleyball tourney (PHOTO)
Nine is fine. The Riverview volleyball team won the Taylor Tournament for the ninth consecutive year Saturday. Now, no one is going to confuse the Taylor Tournament with an Olympic qualifying event, but to win anything nine years running is an amazing feat. Some of the girls on this year's winning team were only six or seven years old when the streak began.
The Bucs opened pool play by beating Taylor Kennedy 25-13, 25-18.
They then went on to defeat Dearborn Crestwood (25-18, 25-9), Melvindale (22-4, 25-13) and Annapolis (25-13, 25-8).
The team then took on Woodhaven in the semifinals, defeating the Warriors 25-12, 25-9 and capped the day with wins over Anderson in the finals, 25-20, 25-18.
“The defense is just excellent and that allows you to win games with those scores,” Coach Tony Budimerovich said. “(But) you still need to play consistent to win like that.”
Last season the Bucs lost about 90 percent of their offense to graduation, and Budimerovich said it was nice to see the younger girls step up.
Melissa Mazurek led the way on the day with 38 kills and 22 digs.
Setter Deanna Smith had 25 kills, 78 assists and 1 aces, while sophomore middle Anastasia Smith had 20 kills.
“She’s (Smith) probably our most physical kid,” Budimerovich said. “Throughout the year, you’ll see her get better and better.”
Senior Kendall Grzywa finished the day with 42 digs and nine aces, Cloey Odor had 17 digs and Sarah Pachuta had 23 digs and 15 aces.
Michelle Burge recorded 12 kills and Lauren Bozzo finished with 13 kills.
Budimerovich was pleased with the way his team started the season and says the defense and serve receive was very solid.
“With our rotation the way it’s lining up, we’ve got five of six as seniors serving and the other is a junior,” he said. “It should allow us to bring a really tough Riverview team.”
Budimerovich says that this year may be the best defensive team he has ever had during his time at Riverview.
The Bucs take on Tecumseh on Thursday.
The Titans finished second after a strong day themselves.
Anderson defeated Gabriel Richard 25-23, 25-22, split with Woodhaven 23-25, 25-20, beat Truman 25-17, 25-14 and defeated River Rouge 25-4, 25-7.
In the semifinals, Anderson took on Kennedy and was victorious after 25-13 and 25-23 scores and then fell to Riverview in the finals.
“It was a good start to the year,” Coach Josh Short said.
Beka Cashmere had 28 digs and 43 aces on the day while Leah Malam and Tinara Moore had 22 kills. Hailey Brandes finished the tournament with 17 kills.
Third place Woodhaven also had a strong showing at its first tournament of the year.
The Warriors defeated Truman 25-20, 25-17, River Rouge 25-6, 25-7 and Gabriel Richard 25-20, 25-18.
They finished second in pool play after splitting with Anderson.
In the semifinals they lost to champ Riverview.
“We played well all day,” Coach Dennis Yack said. “Our serving was excellent and tough for our opponents to handle.
“Our setters did a great job of distributing the ball to all our hitters. This is also a reflection of how well our defense played.”
Statistical leaders for the day included Leah Pletcher with 20 digs and seven aces, Erin Marvaso with 21 digs and Keri Kilgore with 40 assists and eight aces.
Nicole Robinson finished with six blocks, 11 kills and 12 aces, Connor Camplin had 50 assist and five aces and Hailey Leidel had 25 kills and two aces.
Chelsea McLenon recorded 25 kills and five aces and Cheyenne Lacinski had nine blocks and 13 kills.
Last Updated: 8/27/2013 1:47:27 PM EST