Saline continued its dominance in the MHSAA Class A volleyball playoffs, defeating Riverview 25-11, 25-17 and 25-6.
The Hornets advanced to the regional final against Bedford. The match is scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday, at Saline High School.
The Hornets were led by Olivia Sovitch (13 kills, 20 kills) and Olivia Hesse (10 kills, no errors, 7 blocks) and Liz Howden (6 kills and five blocks).
The Hornets were clearly the better the team and they showed it from the opening serve.
“We’re just executing really well right now,” said coach Kenny Seiler, noting the Hornets have won 31 straight sets. “We’ve got so many girls contributing. If one girl has a bit of an off night, we’ve got two or three girls stepping up to help the team.”
Sovitch served an ace and Olivia Vance and Hesse had kills during a six point run that gave Saline a 7-1 lead in the first set. Riverview managed a four-point run to make it 10-6, but Hornets responded with their own six-point run, featuring kills by Hesse, Madison Whitfield and Zoey Ammon. Sovitch had four kills among Saline’s final seven points in clinching the opening set.
Hesse helped the Hornets to a hot start in the second set. She opened scoring with a kill, added another and helped with a block as Saline started with four points. After a Riverview point, Olivia Vance started a five-point run with a kill. Saline cruised to victory, with Sovitch firing three kills late in the game to help the Hornets put the set away.
Sovitch, Howden and Hesse had kills as Saline stormed to a 6-1 lead in the third set. Up 10-4, Saline went on an eight-point run that included two aces from Hesse. After a point for Riverview, Saline rattled off six more points, including two kills by Sovitch, with Kathryn Wilkie serving.
The Hornets face a familiar nemesis in Bedford. Coach Seiler said isn’t planning anything special to try and beat the Kicking Mules.
“They’ve got a couple hitters that we’re going to have to try to slow down, but I like the we we’re playing. We’re going to have to work hard in practice and come out and execute, but I’m confident in this team,” Seiler said.
The Saline Post 3 Stars
- Olivia Sovitch – Led the team in kills (13), digs (20) and service points (12) in yet another all-around game.
- Olivia Hesse – The senior had 10 kills in 12 attacks without an error. She also had a team leading seven blocks. Hesse also fired three aces among her seven service points.
- Zoey Ammon – The Hornets were swinging hard and Ammon was teeing them up. She had 33 assists and handled the ball 57 times without an error. Ammon also had two kills and nine service points.