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Ludington sweeps Big Rapids for first district volleyball title in 19 years

Orioles advance to Tuesday’s 6 p.m. regional semifinal at Big Rapids, where they’ll take on Gladwin.

Ludington’s volleyball team poses with the trophy after sweeping Big Rapids for a Division 2 district title Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, at Hart High School in Hart, Mich. It’s Ludington’s first district volleyball title since 2004. (Courtesy of Ludington volleyball)

Ludington’s volleyball team arrived at Hart High School Thursday determined to capture the program’s first district championship since 2004.

The Orioles departed with some hardware. They left no doubt.

Ludington dominated Big Rapids, 25-9, 25-15, 25-11, en route to capturing a Division 2 district championship.

“The girls showed up right away. They played amazing and clicked immediately,” said Ludington coach Liz Holden, whose talented team last year lost a district semifinals heartbreaker to powerhouse Cadillac. “Their net play was on-point tonight and our defense wasn’t letting anything hit the floor.

“I saw a team that couldn’t be stopped on the court tonight. The girls brought energy and confidence and wanted this win.”

Ludington volleyball coach Liz Holden (Courtney Jimison | CatchMark)

Ludington (40-10-2) advances to Tuesday’s 6 p.m. regional semifinal against Gladwin. It’s the Gaylord regional, but the Orioles’ semifinal match is being played at Big Rapids High School.

Ludington has waited 19 years to get to this point and the Orioles were locked in against Big Rapids.

“I wouldn’t say there was any point in the game that I felt the girls dropped energy or slumped at all. They just played so well all the way through,” said Holden, whose team also rolled to the West Michigan Conference Lakes Division title.

Maddy Vaara posted 18 kills and nine digs for Ludington, while Jordyn Anderson had 32 assists, nine kills, three blocks, and two kills. Karli Mesyar notched 17 kills and two assists for the Orioles, while Ashley McPike contributed eight kills, four blocks, four digs, and two aces.

Other notable stats for Ludington: Jaelyn Laird with seven kills and four blocks; Mia Voss with three kills; Lilly Slater with six digs; Mya Bryant with three digs; and Mia Pung with four digs.

“This is the first district win for Ludington since 2004. It took 19 years, but I knew this group would be the one to break the cycle,” Holden said. “These girls are so talented and I couldn’t be more proud. They have worked so hard this year to get where they are and we couldn’t be happier to be continuing on to regionals.”

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

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