Byron volleyball team district champs

BYRON VOLLEYBALL players celebrate winning their second straight district championship Thursday following a sweep of Burton Bendle at Byron High School.

BYRON — Byron’s Eagles started district play with a sweep of Flint Beecher that was over in 50 minutes.

They ended district play the same way while capturing their second straight Division 3 district championship by sweeping Burton Bendle 25-9, 25-19, 25-18 Thursday.

“We came out ready to play,” said Byron coach Autumn McGuire. “(We) played with great intensity and worked together very well so I think (the championship) was well deserved.”

From the get-go it was clear that Byron’s serves were going to be a problem for Burton Bendle, as the Eagles opened up with a 6-1 run in the first set. Byron’s aggressive serving stayed a key factor throughout the game and the leader of the Eagles serving attack was Riley Viele, who recorded six aces in the victory.

“We knew all season that serving would be a strength of ours,” said McGuire. “We knew after watching (Bendle) play last week that serving deep to them was something that would work well for us.”

Byron’s attack as a whole was impressive and the Eagles didn’t shy away at the net despite Bendle’s tall middle hitters. Maddie Davis led the Eagles with seven kills while Zoe McDowell added 14 assists.

“Altogether we were very aggressive and we were covering (the court) and recovering from our mistakes,” said Byron middle hitter Raegan Forgie. “Our energy was through the roof so that helped keep the game going for us.”

Byron will advance to Tuesday’s 8 p.m. Division 3 regional semifinals vs. Brown City at Unionville Sebewaing.

The goal for the Eagles will be to do what they couldn’t do last year — to make it out of the first round of regionals.

McGuire said the team just needs to keep doing what it has been doing to reach that goal.

“We just need to keep our confidence up,” McGuire said. “We played well all week so we should go into (regionals) with the confidence we need to play aggressive and stay with anyone we play.”

Thursday’s Results

VOLLEYBALL

DIVISION 3 DISTRICT

CHAMPIONSHIP

(at Byron)

BYRON def. BURTON BENDLE

25-9, 25-19, 25-18

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Kills: Byron — Maddie Davis 7

Assists: Byron — Zoe McDowell 14

Digs: Byron — Haley Hooley 10

Aces: Byron — Riley Viele

Records: Byron 23-14-2; Burton Bendle N/A

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