Volleyball: Pioneers continue to show steady improvement; JV wins tournament


The Pioneer varsity volleyball team placed third overall over the weekend at the Splitter Volleyball Tournament at Lincoln High School.

In pool play, the Pioneer squad defeated Ann Arbor Prep 25-10, 25-7; lost to Stevenson 9-25, 19-25; and defeated Blissfield 25-18,25-23.

That sent the Pioneers to bracket play with a 1-2 record.

The Pioneers knocked off city rival Huron  25-19, 25-21 to get things going. But Pioneer lost in the semifinals to Stevenson 11-25, 7-25 to finish third overall.

Pioneer setter Lanie De-Sano Smith had a strong tournament, earning an All-Star medal. Other Pioneer highlights were turned in by Nicole Hughes with 22 attacks, 18 kills, 12 blocks and 10 aces.

Last week, the Pioneers defeated host Jackson HS 3-1. Pioneer won the first two games (25-15, 25-20) before falling 25-22 in the third game. They responded with a convincing 25-13 win to finish off the home team.

The Pioneers got a great performance by libero Elena Chagnovick who finished with 60 defensive plays and only 10 errors. The defensive specialists Hannah Bondy, Lis Cordeiro and Sarah Lewis worked precisely to guarantee the offensive plays.

Highlights for the middle included Nicole Hughes with 18 attacks and 15 kills, along with 9 blocks. Great performances by attackers Maya Todd with 17 attacks and 7 kills; Jesi Izirein with 13 attacks and 3 kills; Zuri Howard with 10 attacks and 5 kills; Gabrielle DeMott with 15 attacks and 3 kills; Sadie Freisthler with 4 attacks and 4 kills; and Freya Benson with 2 attacks and 1 kill.

The kills were made possible by setter Lanie DeSano-Smith with 79 sets to her 45 assists.

Junior varsity

The Pioneer JV volleyball team won the gold medal championship at the Romulus High School Invitational over the weekend. Pioneer won 11 out of 12 sets with the only loss a 27-26 shootout in pool play.
In pool play, Pioneer beat Franklin 25-9 and 25-20. Pioneer beat Annapolis 25-20 and lost 27-26. Pioneer beat Cabrini 25-19 and 25-17 to win pool

With a 5-1 record, Pioneer started Gold Medal bracket play by beating Melvindale 25-7 and 25-17. In the semifinals, Pioneer beat Clarenceville 25-19 and 25-11. In the very exciting championship game, Pioneer beat Lutheran 25-21 and 25-17.

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