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Shelby defeats Morley Stanwood for third straight district volleyball title

Tigers will take on winner of Manton and Traverse City St. Francis in Tuesday’s 7 p.m. regional semi at McBain.

Shelby’s volleyball team poses with the trophy after defeating Morley Stanwood for a Division 3 district title Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, at Hesperia High School in Hesperia, Mich. (Courtesy of Shelby volleyball)

Tom Weirich has a habit and he’s not ashamed of it.

Shelby’s volleyball coach has become a collector of trophies. His Tigers added another to the collection Thursday night.

Shelby defeated Morley Stanwood, 25-18, 25-22, 22-25, 25-16, in a Division 3 district championship match at Hesperia High School.

“Collecting wooden trophies never gets old,” Weirich said about Shelby’s third straight district title to go alongside last year’s regional crown and back-to-back West Michigan Conference Rivers Division championships as well.

“I was really impressed with our team’s mental toughness tonight. They struggled serving (in Wednesday’s district semifinals win over Holton) and were not as consistent as we normally are with our attacks. They flipped the switch tonight and cleaned a lot of that up.”

Shelby volleyball coach Tom Weirich (Courtney Jimison | CatchMark)

Shelby (33-13) advances to Tuesday’s 7 p.m. regional semifinal at McBain, where the Tigers will take on the winner of tonight’s district final between Manton and Traverse City St. Francis.

Leading the way for Shelby again was Navea Gauthier, a 6-foot-2 junior hitter, who is committed to Ohio State. She totaled 50 kills.

Audrey Horton piled up 56 assists and notched six aces. Mollie Schultz and Hannah Frees contributed 16 and 14 digs, respectively.

“This team has a very tight bond. The chemistry on the team is great. I think they play so hard because they don’t want to let their teammates down,” Weirich said.

“Tonight was cool because they always have ribbons in their hair and whoever was in charge of that tonight brought Ohio State ribbons for the whole team to wear,” added Weirich, who noted that it was not Gauthier who brought the ribbons. “Win or lose, they are just good people. I blame the parents for that.”

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

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