The 2019 MHSSA high school volleyball season has started and the Skyline Eagles are excited to return to the court. The Eagles are coming off an exciting 2018 season highlighted by their first District Championship in school history.
This year, the Eagles return a talented group of players including five seniors: Stacie Warner (DS/S), Megan Brummet (DS/L), MCkenna Pfeffer (L/DS), Kendal Murray (M/OH), and Greta Shorer (MH).
The Eagles also return six juniors: Sasha Akuezue (MH), Lydia Crane (MH/OH), Claire Davis (S/RH), Clare Salatta (OH/RH), Melissa Breiner (RH), and Delaney Breiner (MH). Lauren Lee (S/RH), Nora Halloran (MH/RS), and Sophie Schrag (MH/RS) are sophomores, and Harper Murray is the lone freshmen.
The Eagles are led by Coach Chris Cristian who is in his third season at the helm for the Eagles.
The Eagles traveled to the West Side of the state and competed in the Grand Haven Invitational on Aug. 24. The Eagles got off to a good start in pool play, beating Caledonia, West Ottawa, and Fruitport. The Eagles beat Caledonia and Fruitport in two sets. West Ottawa won the first set against Skyline 25-20, but the Eagles won the next two sets, helping them qualify for the Gold Bracket.
The Eagles played Jenison in the first round of the Gold bracket. Jenison came out the gates and advanced to a 12-4 lead before Coach Cristian called a timeout. The Eagles closed the gap to 15-9 with great defense and momentum on offense. The Eagles scored eight consecutive points highlighted by 6 aces from freshmen Harper Murray, taking the lead 17-15 before Jenison called timeout. The Eagles went on to win the first set against Jenison 25-19. The Eagles took the momentum from set one and convincingly beat Jenison 25-15 in the second set.
The Eagles faced host Grand Haven High School in the Semi-finals of the Gold Bracket. Grand Haven won the first set 25-22 and the Eagles bounced back to win the second set 25-18. The Eagles loss momentum in the third set and loss to Grand Haven 16-14.
Skyline then traveled to Saline to play in the annual Jamboree tournament, which consisted of Saline High School, Bedford High School, Ann Arbor Huron, Monroe High School, and Pioneer High School.
All set to warm up and excited to play against Bedford, the Eagles were faced with an unexpected challenge. During warm up sophomore Lauren Lee (Setter) landed on the foot of a Bedford player, dislocating her ankle and fracturing her leg. Surprised and shocked, the Eagles were initially stunned by the injury of their teammate. Taking time to regroup, the players exited the gym, joined in unity, and returned to the court to play Bedford.
The Eagles, faced with the injury of their teammate and never beating Bedford in school history, lost the first set 25-23. The Eagles were not rattled and beat Bedford 25-17 and 25-13 in the next two sets. The Eagles took the momentum and forged ahead against Pioneer, beating them in two sets, 25-18 and 25-16.
The Eagles next opponent were the Hornets of Saline. Saline won the first game 23-25, but the Eagles won the next two sets 25-19 and 25-23. The Eagles then went on to beat Huron in two straight sets.
Last but not least, the Eagles faced the Monroe. The Eagles beat Monroe in two sets, beating them twice by a score of 25-18 and winning the SEC Red Jamboree for the first time in school history.
The Eagles traveled to Bedford on Aug. 30 to play in the Bedford end of Summer Classic. They advanced to the Gold Bracket and played against top ranked Monroe Saint Mary’s Catholic Central (MSMCC) in the championship game.
The Kestrels won the first set 25-22. The Eagles bounced back the second set, beating the Kestrels 25-19.
In the third and final set the Eagles jumped out to a 9-5 lead, until Monroe Catholic Central called timeout. The teams returned to the court and the Kestrels of St. Mary’s took the lead 12-10. The Kestrels eventually went on to win the third set 15-13 over the Eagles.
The Eagles take to the court again on Sept. 14 at the Mercy Invitational.