FARWELL – Survive and advance. That’s the key this time of year. When one “off night” can end your season it doesn’t matter how you get it done, just that you do. Pinconning gave Beaverton all they could handle last Thursday and the Beavers responded to win their third straight district crown.
Pinconning finished fourth in the Jack Pine Conference with a 7-7 record. On paper it looked like a routine night for the Beavers. They had swept the Spartans in straight sets twice in conference play. That didn’t seem to affect Pinconning though as they jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first set behind a strong early serve and several unforced errors by Beaverton. After an early timeout Beaverton was able to swing the momentum in their favor eventually tying the game at 13-13 before Pinconning went on another run outscoring the Beavers 12-7 and winning game one 25-20.
After falling behind 0-3 in game two the Beavers went on a 10-0 run of their own behind the strong serving of Hannah Stearns. Mady Pahl served nine straight points later in the game and Beaverton had a 25-7 win and it looked like Pinconning was in trouble. The Spartans clearly had other ideas though and put up a strong fight in game three. The lead changed hands several times and the score was tied late before Beaverton pulled out a 25-23 win. After falling behind 0-3 again in game four the Beavers outscored the Spartans 25-11 to take the set 25-14 and the match 3-1.
“Pinconning deserves tons of credit for how they played. They had a good game plan and really defended us well,” said Coach Steve Evans. “Jason really had them prepared.” Mady Pahl had 52 assists and 35 digs; Molly Gerow added 27 kills and 22 digs. “I’m proud our girls didn’t fold under pressure and kept fighting, added Evans. “Becca and Faith had great games in the middle.“ Faith Danielak and Becca Wirt had 11 and 10 kills respectively. Alexis Grove had 20 digs while Macie Jerome came up with 17.
Beaverton got to the district championship game by beating Harrison in straight sets Wednesday night 25-11,25-11, 25-14. “I remember when we just wanted to win one District Championship,” Evans said, “and now we have three in a row.“ The Beavers will be facing some familiar foes in regional play. All four teams, Houghton Lake, Manton, Beal City and Beaverton were regional qualifiers last year. Beaverton played former Jack Pine member Houghton Lake last night at Carson City Crystal. Houghton Lake earned their regional berth with wins over Alcona and Oscoda in district play. Depending upon the outcome of Tuesdays game Beaverton may be back in Carson City on Thursday for the regional championships.