Katie Stoots spikes one for Bowling Green, which defended its Northern Lakes League title with a win over Northview.
BOWLING GREEN - Winning the Northern Lakes League championship in volleyball a year ago served only as an appetizer for Bowling Green's Hallie Beattie and Brittany Dunn, the only seniors on this year's team.
Beattie and Dunn made certain the Bobcats would repeat, guiding them to a 25-19, 25-22, 25-18 sweep of Northview last night to secure a second straight league championship.
Beattie, an outside hitter, recorded a team-high 16 kills and 11 digs to go along with two aces in turning back a Wildcats team seeking to avenge a five-game defeat to BG earlier this season.
BG finished the regular season 16-6 overall and 12-2 in league while Northview closed at 17-5 and as league runner-up at 11-3.
"With only two seniors on the team we really didn't know if we'd make it this far, but it was always in the back of our minds to win it again," Beattie said. "This is back to back. We weren't expecting to do this, but now that we've done it it's an awesome feeling."
Dunn, a defensive specialist, stepped up to record a team-best eight digs while Katie Stoots recorded a dozen kills and Lindsey Nelson provided a team-high 21 assists for the Bobcats.
"Winning last year was great, but this year it really means so much more since we returned only two seniors," Dunn said. "I think we really went out and wanted it more."
Deb Coan, BG's first-year coach, applauded her team for responding well to the Wildcats' challenge.
"It's mission accomplished," Coan said. "But I can't believe we were able to win it in three games.
"[We] have played well in pressure situations all season. [We] came out ready to compete."
The Bobcats took the first game without receiving much of a struggle from the Wildcats, leading early and never looking back.
Northview jumped to a 10-5 lead in the second game behind solid play at the net by middle hitter Meagan Schoenrock and steady setter Jackie Pierson, but failed to figure out how to put the game out of reach.
The Bobcats slowly climbed back and made it a contest.
Stoots scored the game-winner with a vicious defensive return.
The Wildcats never bounced back and the Bobcats went on to take the third game.
Northview coach Melissa Belcher believes the Bobcats responded well to playing in front of a raucous home crowd.
"Some of my key players just didn't come through in big games," Belcher said. "They beat us on defense.
"I think it's hard to win away [from home] when it comes right down to it."
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