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Grand Haven boys volleyball program sweeps inaugural competition

Tribune Staff • Apr 20, 2018 at 12:49 AM

The Grand Haven boys volleyball program opened its history book in grand style Thursday at Grand Rapids Christian High School with a 3-0 performance in the four-team, round-robin event.

The Buccaneers defeated Allendale (25-12, 25-14), Kalamazoo Christian (23-25, 25-15, 22-20) and host Grand Rapids Christian (25-18, 25-19).

Gavin Jonker led the Bucs with 19 kills, while Logan Naperala added nine kills, four aces and two blocks, and Tucker Beland added 24 assists and five aces.

Also adding key contributions were: Jake Thayer (nine kills, four aces), Mason Fritz (six kills), Scott Matthews (26 assists), Trent Perkins (19 service points) and Grant Ruster (two blocks).

"It went really well," said Grand Haven head coach Jim Vantol. "It was a high-energy event with a lot of Grand Haven fans in attendance. It was a historic event and you could feel like it was a very special thing to be a part of.

"It was boys varsity volleyball on a big stage in West Michigan. We had a lot of the players from the girls' team there keeping stats and cheering on the guys and the Grand Haven community would be proud of how they played."

A highlight for the Bucs came in the second match of the day against Kalamazoo Christian, in which Grand Haven fought off six match-point situations to keep the contest alive and ultimately, come away with the come-from-behind victory.

"That was huge,” added Vantol. “The guys never lost their composure during that stretch and really made a lot of big plays to dig that one out. I think everyone played above where I thought they'd be considering we've only had four practices as a team so far and this is all happening very quickly.

"These kids are smart, and we keep adding things every practice. We want to add things to the offense and defense as we go without burying them in new material to take in. We still need to work on serve-receive a little bit, and we want to incorporate things into the offensive sets, but we are thrilled with where we are at right now."

The Bucs finished with 50 kills on 50 assists as a team and will look to continue that consistency Tuesday with a round-robin tournament at Davenport University at 5:30 p.m. After that, Grand Haven will return to Grand Rapids Christian on Thursday night at 5:30 p.m.

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