By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
It would make sense that Bronson’s most important win to date this season would come in Thursday’s Division 3 Semifinal at Kellogg Arena.
It’s also fair to assume that the No. 2-ranked Vikings’ comeback 3-2 win over No. 1 Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central will remain one of the program’s most memorable wins for years to come – regardless of whether Bronson adds to its streak of three straight MHSAA championships Saturday.
The Vikings will face No. 6 Unionville-Sebewaing in a noon championship match after twice coming back from one-set deficits against the Kestrels (45-4).
Bronson (57-6) won the fourth set Thursday 25-18 to even the match, and continued the breakaway 15-4 in the deciding set. Bronson had lost its only other match with St. Mary this season.
Junior Keona Salesman had a team-high 23 kills and team-best 26 digs for the Vikings, while sophomore Meagan Lasky had 47 assists.
Senior Abby Jackson had 28 digs to pace St. Mary, while sophomore Mikayla Haut had 18 kills and 18 digs and senior Jessica Long had 24 assists.
Division 3: Unionville-Sebewaing 3, Traverse City St. Francis 1
USA (44-4-4) earned its first Finals berth by holding off a Gladiators comeback attempt after the No. 6 Patriots won the first two sets.
St. Francis (34-14) bounced back from a 26-24 loss in the second set with a 25-18 win in the third as it made only four errors in 35 attacks that game.
But USA came back with just two errors in 38 attacks in the deciding fourth in downing the Gladiators 25-21.
Senior Rylee Zimmer had 27 kills and 14 digs, and senior Nichole Schember had 38 assists for the Patriots.
Senior Molly Mirabelli led No. 8 St. Francis with 22 kills and 28 digs, and sophomore Hannah Sidorowicz had 38 assists.
Division 2: Grand Rapids Christian 3, Lake Odessa Lakewood 0
Top-ranked Grand Rapids Christian (45-5) also will play in its first Final and for its first championship after sweeping the No. 3 Vikings, last season’s runner-up in the former Class B.
Sophomore Addie VanderWeide had 15 kills to lead the Eagles, and junior Jordyn Gates had 35 assists and three aces. Christian had a .349 kill percentage as a team.
Freshman Maradith O’Gorman had a team-high 10 kills for Lakewood, and sophomore Sophie Duits had 13 assists for the Vikings (46-8-2).
Division 2: Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 3, Corunna 0
The reigning Class B champion Irish will play for the first Division 2 championship after ending the longest tournament run in Corunna’s history.
Recently-named Miss Volleyball Award winner Maddy Chinn had 17 kills and three blocks to lead the No. 2-ranked Fighting Irish (64-5). Senior Maria Famularo had 22 assists.
Junior Elizabeth Norris led honorable mention Corunna (50-7-5) with 14 kills, and senior Alexa Mort had 22 assists.
PHOTO: Bronson celebrates during its comeback win over Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central on Thursday.
Be The Referee is a series of short messages designed to help educate people on the rules of different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.
Below is this week's segment – Volleyball Double & Lift - Listen
You’re sitting at a volleyball match and hear parents in the stands yell “Double!” or “Lift!”
What do those terms mean, and why are they yelling them?
Double refers to double contact. That’s when a player hits the ball twice in a row or if the ball touches two parts of the player’s body in succession. If a setter hits the ball with one hand then the other – even if immediate, it’s a double. She needs to set with both hands at the same time.
A lift is when the player, typically a setter, has prolonged contact with the ball that results in throwing or re-directing the ball back into play. The ball doesn’t rebound off the player's fingers or hands, but is directed by the player.
The official on the stand at the net is in the best position to notice these fouls.
Sept. 26: Registration Process - Listen
Sept. 20: Animal Interference - Listen
Sept. 13: Feet Rule on Soccer Throw-In - Listen
Sept. 6: Volleyball Jewelry - Listen
Aug. 30: Football Rules Similarities - Listen
Aug. 23: Football Rules Differences - Listen
(PHOTO by Gary Shook.)