(New Buffalo, MI) - It’s early but the New Buffalo High School girls’ volleyball team is definitely on track to repeat as District 4 champions after a very impressive season opener. The Bison won all three games during a four-team tournament at home on Saturday.
New Buffalo, without one of their best players, defeated Cassopolis, White Pigeon and Brandywine which are high quality teams from larger schools. “To be able to do what we did against them, while missing one of our big hitters, says a lot for the program and for the girls, too,” said Head Coach Kevin Labaj.
He said sophomore, Ava Mullen, could not make the tournament because of a softball competition in Chicago. The rest of his players, like senior Sophia DeOliveira and sophomore Kelsey Corkran, helped pick up the slack caused by the absence. DeOliveria scored 38 digs, 6 aces and 26 kills. Corkran notched 8 aces and 49 assists while senior Emma Lantz contributed 5 aces and 13 kills.
Labaj said the girls had just three days of practice on the hardwood surface to prepare for the tournament after practicing on a sand court in Grand Beach during the pre-season because of the gymnasium being closed by previous COVID-19 restrictions. "The girls came out firing. They looked really good,” he said.
The Bison defeated Michigan Lutheran for the District 4 championship last season before losing to Mendon in the opener of the regional tournament. “I definitely feel like we’re capable of repeating this year and hopefully give Mendon a run for their money if they’re back,” Labaj said.