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Fremont volleyball team beats Spring Lake in regional semifinal with third-straight 5-setter

Packers will vie for a regional title on Thursday when they face Grand Rapids West Catholic.

Fremont’s volleyball team has grown accustomed to the back-against-the-wall pressure of five-set matches. The Packers have won three of them in a row during their state tournament run.

The latest thriller for Fremont happened on Tuesday night at Central Montcalm, where the Packers edged Spring Lake in a Division 2 regional semifinal. Fremont won the first two sets (25-19 and 25-21), lost the next two (25-23, 25-23), and rallied to take the decisive fifth set (16-14).

“The fifth set was a back-and-forth battle for the ‘W,'” Fremont coach Chris Bruggema said. “Fremont trailed 13-14 but somehow managed to dig deep and score three needed points to walk away with the victory.

“It was a total team effort to get this victory this evening.”

Fremont volleyball coach Chris Bruggema (Courtney Jimison | CatchMark)

Fremont (36-15-1) advances to Thursday’s 7 p.m. regional final at Central Montcalm, where the Packers will take on Grand Rapids West Catholic (33-9-6), which swept Belding in the other semifinal Tuesday (25-13, 25-17, 25-12).

Should Fremont beat West Catholic and Ludington get past Kingsford in Thursday’s regional final at Gaylord, the Packers and Orioles of the West Michigan Conference Lakes Division would square off in the state quarterfinals at Fremont at 7 p.m. next Tuesday.

In last Thursday’s district final at Whitehall, Fremont rallied past Oakridge. The Packers lost the first two sets (25-21, 25-18), won the next two (26-24, 25-11), and pulled out fifth set (15-10).

In last Wednesday’s district semifinal at Whitehall, Fremont found a way to beat the host team. The Packers won the first set (25-19) and third set (25-22), lost the second set (25-23) and fourth set (25-15), and pulled out the victory in the fifth set (15-12).

In Fremont’s win over Spring Lake, Kendall Barnhart finished with 18 kills, 16 digs, five aces, and one block. Taylor DeKuiper totaled 15 kills and three blocks, while Mia Clemence had 11 kills and two aces. Lily VandenBerg notched 23 assists and three aces, while Brynna Barnhart tallied 22 assists.

Fremont racked up 95 digs Tuesday, led by Baylah Parker’s 35. Avery Christoffersen had 13 digs.


See 2023 regional scores, matchups, brackets for West Michigan Conference teams

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

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