2017-11-23 / Sports

Rudyard Bulldogs Fall in Volleyball Quarterfinals Match to Munising

By John Raffel

Lane Clegg digs the ball for Rudyard against Munising. (Photograph by Isiah Otten) Lane Clegg digs the ball for Rudyard against Munising. (Photograph by Isiah Otten) A fun and memorable volleyball season came to an end for the Rudyard Bulldogs last week when they lost their quarterfinal game in four sets to Munising Tuesday, November 14.

Scores were 25-23, 25-22, 23-25, and 25-19.

Sierra Dugan had 11 kills, eight digs, and one block and was 14-of-14 in serving with three aces.

Sydnie Zeeryp, Lane Clegg, and Hannah Beelen contributed nine kills each and Zeeryp added six blocks against the powerful Munising attack.

Cierra Molina dished out 30 assists, and had three kills and 12 digs. Jordan Spring and Clegg had 15 digs each, and Spring was 19 of 19 in serving, with two aces.

Hannah Beelen also had three blocks and Autumn Lemmerman had three aces.

Rudyard had a 36-7-3 overall final season record and the Bulldogs were the undefeated EUP conference champs at 12-0. As district and regional champs, this was the first Rudyard team to make a quarterfinal appearance. It’s also an academic allstate team.

“This is the third best record we’ve had in our 29 years of volleyball,” Coach Ellen Perry said. “This is our first regional title since going statewide in 2000. Before that year, volleyball was separate, much like track, from the Lower Peninsula. So this is our first time qualifying for quarterfinals. Keys to our success have been dedication by our girls, amazing commitment to attending practice and learning advanced skills, plus eight seniors who’ve been together through the years who support each other on and off the court.

“We reached several goals this season that we believed in for our team back in August.”

This includes a repeat conference championship, having won the Straits last year, and this year winning the EUPC, being repeat district champs, winning the regional and earning a quarterfinal appearance, and winning another tourney at Charlevoix. Rudyard improved its record from last season, going from 31 wins to 36. As a team Rudyard completed 93% of their passes and had more aces this year (385 in 2016 and 419 in 2017).

“We have eight contributing seniors who will be impossible to replace,” Coach Perry said. “That will only happen with lots of new people willing to commit themselves to the program. We will build around our juniors. Both setters and a middle blocker return next season, as well as some very talented kids who are excited about getting out of the seniors’ shadows.

“They’ve had a lot of practice and patience, and not a lot of court time.”

The coach pointed out strong support for the Bulldogs from parents and fans and said the awards banquet is scheduled for Saturday, December 2.

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