CONSTANTINE, MI. — The Bronson Lady Vikings moved one step closer to another MHSAA Division Three District Volleyball championship on Wednesday night, beating the Constantine Lady Falcons in straight sets to advance to the District 80 championship. Bronson defeated Constantine by scores of 25-12, 25-6 and 25-16.
Bronson reached the district semifinals after a phenomenal performance in last week’s Coldwater Volleyball Mini Invitation, in which the Vikings played some great volleyball on their way to a pair of wins over two of the best in the state in Division Four.
Bronson continued his solid all-around game Wednesday night, jumping over Constantine early in the first set, quickly building a 10-4 lead, leading to a Falcon timeout. The break did little to slow Bronson’s attack as the Vikings quickly opened up a double-digit lead at 16-6. Bronson extended the lead to 18-6 before Constantine got back on the scoreboard as the early times belonged to the Vikings. Bronson closed out the set smoothly, defeating the Falcons in the first set 25-12.
Bronson continued to go two on two, dominating the net with big kills from the likes of Aubree Calloway, Aleah Brackett, Kennedy Clemens and Payton Springstead, among others. The Vikings quickly opened up a sizable lead in the second set, taking a 6-2 lead over the Falcons, forcing an early timeout.
Bronson capitalized on senior Haylie Wilson’s pinpoint serve for a big run at halftime, riding a 9-0 run to build a 15-2 lead before the Falcons were able to find the score again. Bronson finished the set on a 10-4 run, then cruised to a 25-6 victory in the second set.
The game was a bit more back and forth in the third set, with Constantine settling in and losing some key points. The teams traded point-for-point for much of the first half of the set, with Constantine holding a slight lead on several points throughout the set. Midway through the set, though, Bronson took control, rattling off a key 4-0 run to build a 15-11 lead, forcing a timeout from Falcon.
Constantine refused to give up and fought for every point, however Bronson’s attack was too much as the Vikings closed the set on a 10-5 run in the final timeout, then took the third set 25-16. and the three sets to love of victory.
“After a pretty slow start, we went out there and did some really good things offensively, which kept us from getting swung,” Bronson’s head coach Jean LaClair said. “Our outsides and our opposite hitters had big changes tonight! Brealyn (Lasky) did a great job reading blockers and getting the ball to open hitters.”
Of those spread hitters, it was sophomore Aubree Calloway who led the charge, outscoring the Vikings with 15 kills and two blocks.
Freshman Aleah Brackett had a terrific complete game for Bronson, recording nine kills, three assists, two aces and eight digs to help lead the Vikings to victory.
They also put on big nights on the Payton Springstead net with nine auctions; Kennedy Clemens with four takedowns, three digs and one block; and Kaylee Wilber with three spikes, two aces and five digs.
Junior setter Brealyn Lasky had a great night leading the offense, recording 35 assists, three digs and two spikes.
Also adding to the win were Bronson Haylie Wilson with 12 digs and two aces and Jaiden Hayes with one ace.
With the victory, Bronson advances to the MHSAA Division Three District 80 championship, where he will face a familiar foe in the Centerville Lady Bulldogs. Centerville defeated Union City in the other semifinal to advance to the championship final in three sets. The two teams will meet Thursday night starting at 6:30 pm at Constantine High School.