Shelby volleyball coach Tom Weirich knew what his team was getting into with Tuesday night’s Division 3 regional semifinal against third-ranked Traverse City St. Francis.
“TCSF is known for their tough serves and they had that on full display all night,” Weirich said.
Shelby battled St. Francis at McBain’s gym, but the Gladiators completed the sweep by scores of 25-20, 25-21, 26-24.
Shelby closes the season with a 33-14 record after winning a second straight West Michigan Conference Rivers Division title and third consecutive Division 3 district championship.
St. Francis advances to Thursday’s 6 p.m. regional final at McBain, where the Gladiators will face Beal City.
“Going into the game, TCSF was ranked No. 3 in the state in (Division 3), so we knew we were going to have to have a big night in order to be competitive,” Weirch said. “The Tigers played well in front of a great Shelby crowd, but couldn’t quite put enough together to lock up the win.”
Shelby junior Navea Gauthier (Courtney Jimison | CatchMark)
Navea Gauthier led Shelby with 22 kills, 18 digs, and four aces. Audrey Horton had 24 assists and one ace, while Hannah Frees contributed 13 digs and one ace.
Molli Schultz had eight digs for the Tigers, while Brylee Friedman notched two blocks and Bailey Dickman one block.
“Even though the season didn’t end the way we would have liked, we are definitely not discounting the successes we had this season,” Weirich said. “Back-to-back conference championships and three straight district titles is a huge accomplishment for our program and will be the foundation for where we start next season.”
Shelby graduates two seniors in Frees and Schultz, whom Weirich said will be sorely missed.
“Their leadership and contributions to the team over the years has our team moving in a positive direction that our school and community can all be proud of,” Weirich said. “We will take this offseason to recharge and refuel ourselves to come back next year as strong as ever.”
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