Photos by Zach Zweigle | CatchMark
One-thousand kills is an elite accomplishment that only a handful of players can claim in Whitehall volleyball history.
On senior night Tuesday, Rayne Thompson was honored as one of those elite few as Whitehall swept visiting Sparta, 25-9, 25-15, 25-9. In a tournament at Jenison over the weekend, the 5-foot-10 senior outside hitter became the fourth Viking to reach the 1,000-kill milestone for her career.
Thompson joins sister Autumn (Christenson) Holzgen, Melissa Griffin and Hope Rillema in the 1,000-kill club in Whitehall’s history.
“We have only had four girls do it in school history, so that’s pretty cool.” said Whitehall coach Ted Edsall, whose team improves to 24-3-1 overall.
Tuesday was a special night for the Vikings. In addition to honoring Thompson for her achievement, Whitehall celebrated its seniors and their parents prior to the match.
The four seniors have all played at least three seasons on the Vikings’ varsity squad, and they’ve keyed an amazing season this fall.
“We have a special group of seniors,” Edsall said. “These kids have won a lot of matches and are one of our most successful groups ever.”
Against Sparta, the offensive domination from Thompson and Charley Klint set the tone for Whitehall. They had 14 and nine kills, respectively. Senior setter Maggie Evans and Klint notched seven and six aces apiece. Ryleigh Mott totaled 12 digs and Klint had eight. Evans piled up 34 assists.
A challenging schedule awaits the Vikings. They’ll compete in the Greater Muskegon Athletic Association tournament this Saturday at Mona Shores.
Whitehall, which went unbeaten during the regular-season portion of the West Michigan Conference schedule, will host the league tourney on Oct. 23. Districts will come after that.
Edsall believes his team can continue its tear as long as the Vikings play to their ability.
“If we serve and pass at a high level, we can beat anybody,” he said.” That’s what we are working on this week, going into our city tournament.”
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