Volley Against Violence: Panthers Take Their Tourney
Story By Monica Grimard
Photos by Melissa Jacobs Bayle and Lisa Miller
Hesperia Panther Volleyball won their own "Lori Vargas Volley Against Violence Tournament" in a three game final against the hard-hitting Pentwater Falcons. The Panthers finished second behind the Falcons in pool play, but were able to win the match with scores 25-20, 14-25, 15-7, to complete an overall successful day!
This is the 5th year of..
...the Panther's Volley Against Violence Campaign, but the first to be held in tournament style on a Saturday, and the first year to be re-named the Lori Vargas- Volley Against Violence Tournament after one of our former player’s mother was killed by her fiancée last November. Lori was a friend of the community and an advocate of this cause when her daughter played for the Panthers.
Newaygo, White Cloud, Pine River, and Big Rapids Crossroads Academy were also involved in this tournament. Earlier this month the JV teams from Newaygo, Pine River, Hesperia, and Grant held a similar quad in Grant to promote domestic and dating violence awareness.
Fremont Volleyball also participated in an awareness/fundraiser activity in which the Varsity Volleyball team took on a game against the Packer Football Team. These awareness events have raised nearly $20,000 over the past 4 years and after Saturday I am confident we will be able to send a considerable donation, along with a match grant $.50/$1.00 from the Fremont Area Community Foundation, to WISE of Newaygo, Mecosta, and Osceola Counties to be used for helping local families in need and to help spread awareness.
On Saturday, the Panthers had several leaders on the court to help lead them to the finals. Delaney Hussey led with 33 kills, 6 aces, and 6 blocks. Alyssa Miller had 32 kills, 25 digs, 4 aces, and 2 blocks, Ally Bayle had 28 kills, 3 blocks and 2 aces, Olivia Prado had a career high of 25 kills, 6 aces, and 2 blocks. Ceara Thomas had 103 assists, 6 aces, and 24 digs, Heather Burrell lead the team in serving with 8 aces and Gabby Fredrickson totaled 18 digs for the Panthers.
Alyssa Miller and Ceara Thomas were named to the All-Tournament Team by the officials and Pentwater Falcon Linnea McDonough ruled the net finishing with her 1,000th career kill. She was presented with a purple ball to commemorate this outstanding performance.
The Panthers record is now 28-20-4 as the team passed the school record for most wins in one season.