The Novi volleyball team’s run to four straight Class A Finals and three straight championships over the last four seasons saw performances by a number of elite hitters – and one on-court constant directing the attack.
Erin O’Leary graduated this spring with an MHSAA-record 5,790 assists during her four years as the team’s starting setter, topping the rest of the best in that category by 180. She had a high of 1,521 assists last fall as a senior, that total coming in ninth for a single season, and all four of her season totals rank among the top 24 since the MHSAA went to rally scoring in 2004-05.
In addition, O’Leary made the career aces list with 327. Victoria Iacobelli, the top hitter on the 2014 runner-up team, was added for 642 kills that fall. Iacobelli has gone on to play at Bowling Green, while O’Leary claimed the statewide Miss Volleyball Award as a senior and will begin her college career at University of Michigan this upcoming season.
Click to see the volleyball record book in full plus more recent record book additions in baseball, girls and boys basketball, football and softball.
Morenci’s Matthew Schiermyer enjoyed a memorable day April 28, 1995, when he belted three home runs in his team’s 8-6 win over Ottawa Lake Whiteford. He drove in five runs total with the three homers.
Kingsley’s Alex Parker was hit by 38 pitches over a four-year varsity career that concluded this spring, including by 16 pitches as a junior. His career total is tied for 12th all-time. He will continue his career at Henry Ford College.
Onsted’s Taylor Hutchinson knocked down 41 more 3-pointers this past season to finish her four-year varsity career with 167, making the records list in that category. She will continue her career at Jackson College.
Hale sophomore Joseph Kimmerer helped his team to a league championship last winter and earned an entry in the record book among sharp shooters. He made 88.3 percent of his free-throw attempts over 21 games (83 of 94) to tie for the 15th-best percentage for one season.
Then-senior Griffin Kelly got his final season off to a great start last Aug. 25, running for six touchdowns in making the single-game list for rushing scores as his Frankfort team defeated Manton 70-40. He is continuing his career at Northern Michigan University.
Dearborn Heights Star International’s Saif Almalla was waiting for a kickoff from Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest to roll into the end zone last Oct. 6 – but when it didn’t, he picked up the ball and raced 99 yards for a touchdown while also tying the record for longest kickoff return in MHSAA history. Almalla will be a senior this fall.
A trio of strong hitters put up record book-caliber seasons in 2017 for Farmington Hills Mercy. Sophie Van Acker, then a senior, had 84 hits – 10th most for one spring – and graduated with 241 hits over four seasons. Nicole Belans added 18 doubles for a career total of 33, and also made the single-season RBI list with 70. Anna Dixon, then a junior, also had 70 RBI, in addition to 78 hits and 73 runs scored. Van Acker signed with Lehigh University out of high school, and Dixon will continue at Hillsdale College.
Muskegon Orchard View slugger Halee Holman is off to a great start after two seasons on varsity, and with two more to go. As a sophomore this spring, she made the MHSAA record book with 14 home runs and 90 RBI – the RBI tied for fifth-most all-time. She’s also on the career RBI list with 156 and just short of the career home run list with 19 so far.
Lansing Waverly’s Madeline Stump capped a memorable run this spring with four entries for career accomplishments. Across four seasons and 132 games, Stump hit .546 with 230 hits including 50 doubles and 25 home runs.
PHOTO: Novi’s Erin O’Leary sets a teammate during last season’s Class A Semifinal win over DeWitt.
Jada Bolhuis finished up her Otsego softball career this spring all over the MHSAA record book – and despite playing only three seasons because 2020 was canceled due to COVID-19.
Bolhuis owns 12 entries in the MHSAA record book including for 228 career runs (16th all-time), 230 career hits and a .622 career batting (sixth all-time) over 112 games and three varsity seasons.
She also made the hitting streak list twice, with a run of 44 straight games with a hit from April of her freshman year until the end of April of her junior season, and for a 33-game hitting streak during her junior and senior springs. The 44-game streak is the second-longest in MHSAA history.
Bolhuis also is a track sprinter and is slated to run at University of Tampa.
We’re continuing to catch up on adding record book listings. See below for more of the most recent added for softball.
Richland Gull Lake’s Savanna Disbrow had a par of significant run-producing games over the course of two weeks in May 2021. She drove in seven runs against Mattawan that May 5, then eight in a win over Delton Kellogg on May 20. She played this past season at Bemidji State in Minnesota.
Gabby Schloop put up a senior season to remember for Midland in 2021, posting the fifth-most runs scored (83) and tying for the fifth-most doubles (27) in MHSAA history, while also making the single-season hits list with 70 and career doubles list with 49 over three seasons. Taylor Sanborn also made the single-season hits list in 2021 as a senior, and also with 70. Sanborn continued her career at Calvin University, and Schloop at Northwood.
Maddisyn Miller also was added for RBI in a single game, driving in seven May 12, 2021, for Ovid-Elsie against Laingsburg. She is a junior this fall.
Rochester Adams earned its first softball record book entries in 2021. Then-junior Sabrina Lee was added for getting hit by 17 pitches over 34 games. Teammate Elizabeth Blaine, a senior that season, hit home runs in consecutive at bats, both in the second inning, of a game against Auburn Hills Avondale.
Potent offense helped drive Grandville to a 31-5 finish in 2019, with a number of top hitters in the record book. As a team, the Bulldogs are listed for 399 hits, 76 doubles, 34 home runs and 292 RBI that season. Then-senior Taylor Buiter was added for 10 home runs, including a pair in consecutive at bats, and then-junior Maddi Ungrey was added for three home runs in the same game all in consecutive at bats as well. Then-senior Lexi Dukesherer became the first player listed for being hit by a pitch twice in the same inning, and she also made the single-game list in that category for three. Additionally, former Grandville standout Carrie Mesman was added for her 17 doubles in 2015. Mesman went on to play at Aquinas College, and Buiter played at Ferris State.
Bath’s Bailee Buck has become the first entry for career times hit by pitches, as she totaled 30 over 99 games from 2017-19 (with her senior season of 2020 canceled due to COVID-19). She also made the single-game list with three HBPs as a junior. Teammate Ally Estrada was added twice for hitting consecutive home runs, five days apart during the 2019 season, and also for driving in seven runs in the first of those games May 18, 2019, against Algonac. Estrada graduated this spring.
Grosse Pointe South’s Shannon Dame became the second player added to the single-season hit-by-pitch list. She was hit by 20 pitches during the 2021 season, when she was a junior.
A trio of New Lothrop hitters were added for hitting during the 2021 spring, led by then-junior Jersey Hemgesberg who was added for 73 hits, 25 doubles and 12 home runs over 38 games – with the 25 doubles tying for seventh-most in MHSAA history. Additionally, Brynne Birchmeier was added for 20 doubles and Marissa Rombach for 17. Both are juniors this fall.
Bloomfield Hills sophomore Hannah Grant made the single-game lists for home runs and RBI during a win over Berkley on April 7. She had three homers and six RBI in the 9-7 win; the three homers tied for second-most in one contest.
Buchanan sophomore Hailee Kara also joined the single-game RBI list with nine during a 19-7 win over Vicksburg on April 21. The nine RBI tied for seventh-most in one contest.
PHOTO Jada Bolhuis makes a throw to first base during Otsego’s District Final win over South Haven this spring. (Photo by Gary Shook.)