BEAVERTON – The Beavers maintained their hold on first place in the Jack Pine Conference with a straight set victory over Meridian last Wednesday night. The third ranked Beavers are playing like the team that advanced all the way to the state semifinals last season in Battle Creek. Head coach Steve Evans said that his team is “improving with every practice.” The COVID-19 pandemic put a crimp on preparation for most teams this fall putting nearly everyone behind schedule. Beaverton has played 10 matches to date. By this time last year they had played almost twice that number.
The Beavers continue to be led by seniors Mady Pahl and Molly Gerow. Gerow had nine kills and Pahl added 21 assists against the Mustangs, but like all good teams the supporting cast continues to shine. Hannah Stearns had three kills and two aces, Becca Wirt added six kills, while Alexis Grove had 10 digs and Faith Danielak got four blocks.
“We did a good job putting pressure on them and it gave us some good opportunities,” said Evans. “We knew we had to get them scrambling because they have hitters that can pound the ball through any defense.” The Beavers are currently 6-4 overall with a conference record of 4-0 with a schedule that is starting to ramp up in preparation for district play. While Coach Evans always says that the next game is the most important it is clear that Beaverton is looking to play quality opponents both in and out of conference.
This Saturday both Valley Lutheran and Freeland will be in town. Valley Lutheran was also a semifinalist last year. Like Beaverton it was their first trip to the Finals. Freeland was also a regional champion last year falling one match short of their own trip to the finals. Beal City, Traverse City St. Francis and Swan Valley come to Beaverton in early October for a quad match. The Beavers defeated St. Francis in the quarter finals last season on their way to Battle Creek. Beal City was a district champion and Swan Valley lost to Freeland in the district finals.
The Beavers will be in Harrison for a quad that will also include Farwell and Pinconning. Pinconning is currently in second place in the Jack Pine Conference with a 3-0 record, one half game behind Beaverton. The matches start a 5 p.m.