Wildcat sweeps move them into Regional finals

Haley Hagen • couriersports@vineyardpress.biz
The Mattawan Wildcats improved to 39-4 with a victory over Portage Northern  last week that earned them the District tournament trophy Haley Hagen photo

   The Mattawan Wildcat volleyball team continued its quest of achieving a State title after earning two more wins this past week, first claiming the District title, and moving to the Regional semi-finals with a first round Regional win.
   The Wildcats faced the Portage Northern Huskies for the district championship,  the second meeting of the season for these teams, and the final game on the home court for Mattawan seniors. 
   The Wildcats completely dominated the first two games of the match. During the opening set, junior Savannah Hall served up an ace to put Mattawan up, 13-5. The Wildcats extended their lead when Maggie Pelak went up for a block and the point gave the Wildcats a 17-6 lead. The opening set ended with senior Natalie Foster laying down a kill to give Mattawan the 25-8 set win.
   The second set for Mattawan was almost perfect. The Wildcats blazed out to a 24-0 lead over the Huskies. The only point for Portage Northern was a net violation against Mattawan, and the second set went to the Wildcats, 25-1.
   The final set would be the closest of the night. Portage Northern held a 10-6 lead over the Wildcats when Karyssa VanHorn went up for a block to cut into the Huskie lead. Teammate Addy Porter added a block of her own and kept the set close, though Mattawan still trailed, 14-11. Taylor Rutgers finally gave the Wildcats back the lead at 21-20, when she served up an ace. Mattawan kept the Huskies from scoring again  and the Wildcats went on to win their third straight district title, and advanced to Regional play this week.
   On Tuesday evening the Wildcats faced Gull Lake in the Regional semi-final at Battle Creek Lakeview. The result was Mattawan’s 36th sweep of the season, a 3-0 defeat of the Blue Devils, 25-18, 25-16 and 25-10.
   The win pits Mattawan, now 40-4, against the Jackson Northwest Mounties, 35-10-5. 

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