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Fremont rallies past Oakridge in dramatic, five-set district volleyball finals match

Packers climb out of two-set hole to capture second straight district title in hard-fought contest.

WHITEHALL — Very little separated the volleyball teams from Fremont and Oakridge in Thursday night’s hard-fought Division 2 district championship match at Whitehall High School.

It was a matter of which team had more in the tank by the end of the five-set thriller. Oakridge won the first two sets (25-21, 25-18) and Fremont took the next two (26-24, 25-11).

After a decisive fifth set, won 15-10 by Fremont, the Packers were celebrating a second-straight district title and the Eagles were feeling the emotions of being oh, so close to the program’s first district crown in 42 years.

Fremont (35-15-1) advances to Tuesday’s 7 p.m. regional semifinal at Central Montcalm, where the Packers will face Spring Lake (21-20), which swept Allendale in the Lakers’ district final.

Oakridge closes the season with a 19-18-1 record. That was the final match for Eagles coach Robert Rieger, who is stepping down after coaching the sport 23 years.

Here are more details and notables from the match:

  • It was the second night in a row Fremont played a five-setter. The Packers defeated Whitehall in the district semifinals in five sets on Wednesday night. Oakridge made quick work of Orchard View in a district semifinals sweep on Wednesday.
  • Fremont’s Kendall Barnhart had 13 kills and 20 digs.
  • Fremont’s Taylor Waite finished with 11 kills.
  • Fremont’s Mia Clemence contributed 10 kills.
  • Fremont’s Baylah Parker totaled 23 digs and two aces.
  • Fremont’s Avery Christoffersen recorded 17 digs.
  • Fremont’s Lily VandenBerg had 19 assists.
  • Fremont’s Brynna Barnhart notched 16 assists.
  • Fremont’s Taylor DeKuiper had two blocks.
  • Fremont opened the season in the Spring Lake Quad and lost to the Lakers in a three-setter.
  • Oakridge’s Madison Babinec totaled 20 kills, seven digs, and six blocks.
  • Oakridge’s Kaelinn Jozsa had eight kills.
  • Oakridge’s Mallori Whipple notched two kills, two aces, and she was 26-for-26 in serving.
  • Oakridge’s Ahria Doornbos had 15 digs and three kills.
  • Oakridge’s Gracie Willea had 19 digs and three kills.
  • Oakridge’s Avery Willea added two kills and two digs.

Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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