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Fruitport rolls over Orchard View, gears up to take on Oakridge in district volleyball action

Trojans get team effort in first-round victory.

Photos by Zach Zweigle | CatchMark

SPRING LAKE — Fruitport unleased its full roster Monday night as the Trojans played the first game of the Division 2 volleyball playoffs. In a challenging district, the Trojans kicked off their postseason on a high note.

Fruitport swept Orchard View in first-round action at Spring Lake High School, 25-11, 25-7 and 25-16.

Every Fruitport player made an appearance on the stat sheet in the tune-up victory featuring nine individual Trojans notching kills to the impressive offensive display.

The Trojans (23-19) advance to Wednesday’s 5 p.m. district semifinals against Oakridge, which received a first-round bye.

Coach Nicole Bayle attributed her team’s display of dominance and growth this season to a tough schedule.

“We play in a new conference that’s tough. The OK Blue is a great volleyball conference with a lot of great Division 2 programs,” Bayle said. “I think it’s prepared us for the playoffs as we’ve played some teams that are in the top 10 rankings. As a coach, I feel confident in my girls, because I know we can get things done even when it gets tough.”

Although Fruitport made quick work of Orchard View, the Trojans emphasized their focus around not over-looking teams in the playoffs.

“I always prepare my kids in the same way — all kinds of opportunities and crazy things happen in the playoffs,” Bayle said. “We talked about the scouting report, and we always focus on the top three to five things that our kids can do to be successful. I thought we did a nice job of doing that tonight by being a good teammate, taking care of routine plays, and respecting our opponent.”

Despite the plethora of Trojans contributing to the offense, they were led by junior Auebre Johnson and freshman Sadie Haase, who notched six and five kills, respectively. Junior setter Raegan Dykstra ended with 25 assists on the night.

The defense was led by juniors Kayla Kolberg and Hope Busscher, who had 13 and 9 digs, respectively.

“I was really happy with the way our kids came out and played,” Bayle said. “One of my big goals was to allow to some of our younger kids to play and to get some opportunities for our kids that don’t see the floor a lot.

“They kept their intensity high and there wasn’t a huge shift in starters and non-starters. As a coach, that’s one of the things that I’m really proud of. We are headed in the right direction.”

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

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