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Ludington volleyball stays ‘on fire’ in regional semifinal sweep of Gladwin

Karli Mesyar reaches 1,000-dig milestone; Orioles eyeing first regional title since 1997.

Chicken Coop owner Wayne Holden knows how to fry chicken at just the right temperature.

He’s learned a lot about volleyball, too, watching daughter Liz Holden coach Ludington. According to Wayne, the Orioles were “on fire” in Tuesday’s Division 2 regional semifinal at Big Rapids as he was sending updates to CatchMark SportsNet during the match.

Ludington made quick work of Gladwin in a three-game sweep, 25-14, 25-11, 25-9.

“The girls showed up tonight and played a great game from start to finish. They worked together as a team and made some great plays and great saves,” Liz Holden said. “They did a great job of keeping them out of system. We got a lot of great swings in tonight and I really like what I saw out there.

“They were clicking the entire time and played some really good volleyball.”

In this file photo, Wayne and Ruth Holden, parents of Ludington volleyball coach Liz Holden, watch the Ludington-Montague match on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in Montague, Mich. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)

Ludington (41-10-2) advances to Thursday’s 6 p.m. regional final at Gaylord, where the Orioles will take on Kingsford, which swept Boyne City (25-19, 25-18, 26-24) in its regional semifinal at Sault Ste. Marie.

Last week, Ludington won its first district title in 19 years. The Orioles will be seeking their first regional championship since 1997.

If Ludington and Fremont were to win their respective regional finals Thursday — Fremont takes on Grand Rapids West Catholic at Central Montcalm –it would set up a battle of West Michigan Conference Lakes Division foes in a state quarterfinal next Tuesday in Fremont’s gym.

A milestone was achieved in Ludington’s victory over Gladwin. Senior libero Karli Mesyar recorded her 1,000th career varsity dig before the third set. Mesyar finished the night with 11 digs, four assists, and one ace on the night.

Ludington senior libero Karli Mesyar (Courtney Jimison | CatchMark)

“It helped keep the energy going when we announced Karli Mesyar’s 1,000th varsity career dig before the final game,” Liz Holden said. “They had a lot of fun and are excited to be heading to the regional finals Thursday.”

Maddy Vaara totaled 12 kills, eight digs, three aces, two blocks, and one assist for Ludington. Jordyn Anderson had 25 assists, six digs, five kills, one block, and one ace for the Orioles, while Ashley McPike notched seven kills, three blocks, and three digs.

Other notable stats for Ludington: Mya Bryant seven digs, one assist, one ace; Jaelyn Laird six kills, one block, one dig; Mia Pung four digs, two aces; Mia Voss three digs, one kill, one block; and Lilly Slater one dig and one block.


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

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

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