Monthly Archives: September, 2017

PREVIEW: Kalamazoo Valley Hosts Glen Oaks

9-26 volleyball
Listen live online Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. on the Slocum Sports Network as the Kalamazoo Valley Cougars host the Glen Oaks Vikings in college volleyball.   These teams currently sit in the middle of the MCCAA Western Conference standings.   Glen Oaks is tied for third at 5-3, while Kalamazoo Valley is tied for sixth at 3-5.

Overall, the Cougars are 5-9, although they’ve won three of their last four matches and a hold a 2-1 home record.   The Vikings are 15-9 on the season and have won seven of their last eight, only falling to #1 ranked Harper College in four sets Saturday in that stretch.   Glen Oaks hosted Kalamazoo Valley back on August 24 with a 3-0 Viking win (25-18, 25-13, 25-21).

Listen live to Tuesday’s match online on the Slocum Sports Network with first serve set for 6:30 p.m. from Kalamazoo Valley.

PREVIEW: Kalamazoo Christian Welcomes Schoolcraft for Soccer

9-25 soccer
Listen live online Monday around 5 p.m. on the Slocum Sports Network as the Kalamazoo Christian Comets host the Schoolcraft Eagles in boys soccer.  It is the midway point in Southwestern Athletic Conference play, with the Comets at 3-1-0 in the SAC and Schoolcraft at 1-1-1.

Overall, the Comets are 5-5-1 and were ranked 19th in last week’s Division 4 Coaches Association poll.   They went 1-2-0 last week, flattening Coloma, but falling to #4 Hackett Catholic and #11 Hartford.   Schoolcraft is 2-4-1 and also went 1-2-0 last week, defeating Saugatuck, but losing to Comstock and Fennville.   K-Christian won both meetings over Schoolcraft in 2016, 4-1 in the regular season and 3-0 in the district tournament.

Listen live online to Monday’s match on the Slocum Sports Network with kickoff set for 5 p.m.

RECAP: #7 Marshall Downs Allegan 4-1

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The Marshall Redhawks grabbed a non-conference home win Saturday afternoon, defeating the Allegan Tigers 4-1.   After a fairly even first 20 minutes, the Redhawks (ranked seventh in Division 2) took control and dominated possession and opportunities the rest of the match.

Sophomore forward Jake Lyon scored the game’s first goal in the 22nd minute for Marshall.  About five minutes later, junior midfielder Carter Peek found the back of the net, giving Marshall a 2-0 halftime advantage.  In the 49th minute, Reed Shivley pushed the lead to 3-0.  Allegan’s lone score came from senior forward Jake Orr in the 74th minute.  Three minutes later, Lyon struck again for his second of the game and sixth of the season, pushing Marshall to the 4-1 final.

The Redhawks improve to 13-2-0 overall with Allegan dropping to 5-5-1.   Both have league matches ahead; Marshall hosts Hastings Tuesday and travels to Jackson Northwest Thursday for Interstate 8 play.   Allegan heads to Plainwell Monday and Sturgis Wednesday for Wolverine Conference action.

Listen back to Saturday’s game below:

RECAP: Watervliet to 5-0, Outraces K-United 52-34

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Watervliet QB Zack Pickens warms up with WR Bryant Kieft

For the fifth consecutive week, the Watervliet Panthers have won by putting up 50 or more points.   The Panthers claimed their homecoming match over Kalamazoo United Friday 52-34, handing the Titans their first defeat of 2017.   It also gives Watervliet a 3-0 record over the Titans since the co-op formed.   Panther quarterback Zack Pickens set a career high, unofficially throwing for 455 yards.

Watervliet forced a three-and-out on the opening Titan drive, then scored on their opener with a 1-yard Bryant Kieft rush.  The two-point toss went to Garrett Matthews for an 8-0 start.   United struck on their second drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Eric Wenzel to Heath Baldwin, but stayed behind 8-6 after a sack on the two-point try.    Watervliet made it 2-2 on scoring drives and made the lead 14-6 with an 18-yard Pickens rush (their two-point try failed).

The Titans’ next drive ended in a fumble on a botched option run, recovered by Lamarrius Smith.   However, United was able to stop Watervliet for the first time on a turnover-on-downs.   The momentum switched right back with 8:49 remaining in the second quarter, as defensive tackle James Bell snagged a pass at the line and took it 51 yards for a score.   The two-point rush was denied for a 20-6 tally.

Less than a minute later, Wenzel connected again with Baldwin, this time for a 52-yard touchdown pass.   They found each other again for the two, putting the Titans back within six, 20-14.   The next Panther drive made it to the red zone, but ended in a fumble in what was ultimately their only giveaway of the game.  United had to punt, giving Watervliet time to score with 1:13 remaining on a 37-yard pass from Pickens to Kieft.   The two-point pass to Matthews gave the Panthers a 28-14 lead going into the break.

Watervliet started with the ball in the third and continued scoring, punching in with a 1-yard Pickens rush.   The two-point pass was completed to Ryan Chisek for a 36-14 score.   The Panthers attempted an onside kick and Wenzel recovered it and took off, going from his own 45 to within eight yards of the end zone.  It took all four downs, but the Titans scored with a seven-yard pass from Wenzel to Jacob Niesen.    The two-point try was intercepted, 36-20.

Watervliet again moved down the field with ease, scoring in about three minutes with a nine-yard pass from Pickens to Trent Boone.   Matthews’ third two-point catch pushed the score to 44-20 with 4:09 in the third.   Not even a minute later, Wenzel found a wide-open Christian Bartholomew for a 50-yard touchdown pass.  Wenzel’s two-point rush got them back within 16, 44-28.

The Kalamazoo United defense came alive, forcing a turnover-on-downs on back-to-back drives.  After the first, Wenzel found Baldwin for a seven-yard passing touchdown, getting them back within ten at the end of the third quarter 44-34, as the two-point rush was stuffed.

After the second, the Titans started a methodical drive with two fourth-down conversions.  However, the 11th play of the drive was a pass deflected by Boone, into the hands of Lamarrius Smith for an interception.   Kieft would soon get his second rushing touchdown, this one from five-yards out, and a two-point rush by Pickens pushed the score to its concluding point of 52-34.    The Titans’ last gasp would be a turnover-on-downs, followed by the Panthers draining the final four minutes.

The unofficial final line for Pickens; 26-40 passing, 455 yards, two passing touchdowns, along with 146 yards on the ground and two rushing scores.  Kieft had 200 yards receiving on seven catches, along with 41 rushing yards for three total touchdowns.  Both Boone and Matthews also had more than 100 yards receiving.

For Titan quarterback Eric Wenzel; 24-47 for 300 yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions.  Bartholomew had 88 yards, Baldwin had 78.   The Titans were held to negative yards rushing.   Watervliet finished with 641 total yards, compared to 295 for the Titans.

Along with the 5-0 overall mark, the Panthers also begin SAC Valley division play at 1-0.   They have three straight road games against Valley rivals ahead with a trip to Delton Kellogg up next.   United falls to 4-1 and hosts another 4-1 squad, Coloma, for week six.    Listen back to week five’s broadcast below:

PREVIEW: #7 Marshall Meets Allegan for Saturday Match

9-23 soccer
Listen live online Saturday around 11:30 a.m. on the Slocum Sports Network as the Marshall Redhawks host the Allegan Tigers in boys soccer.   When these Division 2 squads met last season, the Redhawks were a 3-1 road victor.   Their last meeting in Marshall back in 2015 was a 1-1 draw.


Marshall was ranked seventh best in Division 2 in the latest coaches poll
.   The Redhawks are 12-2-0 with their only losses coming to ninth-ranked Haslett and Sturgis, both in 1-0 games.  Marshall is also a perfect 4-0-0 against Interstate 8 Conference opponents.    Meanwhile, Allegan sits at 5-4-1 on the season.   They’re 2-1-0 against Wolverine Conference foes, defeating Dowagiac and Vicksburg, while losing to Edwardsburg.


Listen live to Saturday’s match online on the Slocum Sports Network.
  Kickoff is scheduled for around 11:30 a.m., pending the earlier JV game.

RECAP: #9 Mattawan Earns Tight Road Sweep Over #11 Gull Lake

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The Mattawan Wildcats defeated the Gull Lake Blue Devils Wednesday evening in three sets, 25-20, 25-22, 25-22.   In each set, Gull Lake had an early lead, but the Wildcats rallied back midway through each time.   The win starts Mattawan at 1-0 in SMAC East division play and starts Gull Lake at 0-1.

Unofficially, Taylor Rutgers led the Wildcats with 12 kills, closely followed by Natalie Foster with 11.  Gull Lake’s Kenzy Cortstange added 12 of her own.   Mattawan is 20-3 overall with Gull Lake at 20-6-1.

The Wildcats return to action Thursday at the Rockford meet, followed by a SMAC East home match next Wednesday with Lakeview.  Gull Lake goes to the Holt Invitational Saturday, then heads to Loy Norrix Wednesday for league play.

Listen back to Wednesday’s match below:

RECAP: #4 Schoolcraft Sweeps Hackett

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The Schoolcraft Eagles downed the Hackett Catholic Irish Tuesday at Hackett, 25-11, 25-9, 25-12.   Despite the lopsided final, the first set was back-and-forth for the first 10 points on both sides.  An injury to Hackett senior Carolyn Brown, followed by numerous aces from Andelyn Simkins and Paige Gebben, allowed Schoolcraft to dominate the rest of the first.

Schoolcraft controlled the entire second set.   The Irish had a brief 7-6 lead in the third set, but again, the fourth-ranked Eagles found their rhythm.   Unofficially, Simkins and Gebben each had nine kills.  Delaney Hewitt topped Hackett with five.

Schoolcraft moves to 13-7-2 overall and 2-0 in SAC Valley play.   They face another Valley foe, Constantine, at home next Tuesday.   Hackett falls to 0-2 in the Valley and 5-12 overall.   They return to action Wednesday for a triangular with Bridgman and Comstock.

Listen back to Tuesday’s match below:

PREVIEW: Top 15 Teams Meet as Gull Lake Hosts Mattawan in SMAC East Opener

9-20 volleyball
Listen live online Wednesday night on the Slocum Sports Network to high school volleyball as the Gull Lake Blue Devils host the Mattawan Wildcats.   It’s the second time these teams have met in 2017, as Mattawan took a tight 2-1 win two weeks ago in the Portage Central mini tournament.   Recent history has also favored Mattawan, as Gull Lake last defeated the Wildcats in the 2012 SMAC tournament.

It is also the first division match of 2017 in a very tough SMAC East, which also boasts the impressive Kalamazoo Central and Lakeview squads, along with a much improved Loy Norrix.  Mattawan enters Wednesday at 19-3 overall with Gull Lake at 17-5-1.

Both Gull Lake and Mattawan have received statewide attention for their success.   In the newest Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association poll, Mattawan is ninth best in Class A with Gull Lake earning a honorable mention.   In the latest rankings by Michigan High School Volleyball Insider, Gull Lake is 11th best in Class A, one spot better than 12th-ranked Mattawan.

Listen live online to Wednesday’s match on the Slocum Sports Network with the start time between 6:30 to 7 p.m., depending on the length of the prior JV contest.

RECAP: Big Second Half Pushes Hackett by K-Christian 6-0

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The Hackett Catholic Irish remain unbeaten with a 6-0 home victory over Kalamazoo Christian Monday.   Despite the lopsided final score, most of the first half was very even.   Hackett took a 1-0 lead into the break with Max Keenan scoring in the 33rd minute.

The Irish dominated the second half and scored five goals, the first coming from Daniel Amat in the 47th minute.   Three minutes later, Keenan struck again for his team-leading 12th of the season.  Aidan Gillig, Brennan Creek, and Tobias Kuhn each found the back of the net later later on.   The shutout was a combined effort in goal as Breyton Franklin started the first half, followed by Joe Carr in the second half.

The win moves Hackett to 6-0-2 overall and 2-0 in SAC play.   The Comets drop to 4-5-1 and 2-1 in the SAC.   The Irish return to action at Gobles Wednesday, while Kalamazoo Christian hosts Coloma Wednesday in a Comet clash.     Listen back to Monday’s game below:

PREVIEW: #6 Schoolcraft Heads to Hackett

9-19 volleyball
Listen live online Tuesday around 6:30 p.m. on the Slocum Sports Network to high school volleyball between the Schoolcraft Eagles and Hackett Catholic Irish.   When these schools met last season at Hackett, the Eagles survived a five-set thriller.

Schoolcraft began SAC Valley Division play with a 3-1 victory last week over defending division champion Kalamazoo Christian.     The Eagles were ranked sixth-best in Class C in last week’s Coaches Association poll.   Meanwhile, Hackett started Valley play with a three-set defeat from Galesburg-Augusta.

Listen live to Tuesday’s match online on the Slocum Sports Network with first serve around 6:30 p.m., pending the JV match.