EATON TWP. — The three seniors on Brunswick’s volleyball team might want to think about writing thank you letters to their big junior teammate.
Thanks largely to 6-foot-4 middle hitter Gabbie Bulic, the Blue Devils defeated Avon 25-17, 22-25, 25-16, 25-16 Wednesday in a Midview Division I Sectional final.
Brunswick (11-12) will face Amherst Steele (15-8) on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in a Midview District semifinal.
“I don’t want the season to be over,” Bulic said. “I want to win for the seniors. I know the seniors want to win so much.”
Bulic broke her own school record for kills, getting 32 of them against Avon (11-11). She was a picture of consistency, getting eight kills in each of the four games. Bulic also had five block kills and served two aces.
“Gabbie told me before the match that she really wanted us to win this one,” Brunswick coach Mandy Pyzik said. “Gabbie was really on tonight. You could tell she really wanted to win.”
Pyzik had praise for the entire team for its obvious desire not to depart the tournament after only one match.
“There was a lot of determination out there tonight,” she said. “I can’t say anything negative about them now. This was one of their better efforts this season.”
The Blue Devils got 65 of their 97 points on kills or block kills.
“A big thing for us is our defense and serve receive,” Pryzik said. “Our passing is phenomenal. It was tonight. We can get the ball to our setter and use all our hitters.”
Morgan Ritchie had seven kills to go with her 36 assists, while Tori Wawzyniak and Sam Placko chipped in six kills each. Julianne Laughlin had a match-high 20 digs.
“We knew this would be a size mismatch,” Avon coach Jenn Larrick said. “We hoped to take advantage of when (Bulic) was serving. She’s just so hard to hit around.
“Their defense is amazing,” Larrick added. “They cover so much of the court and they get a spark from everybody on defense.”
Brunswick led the entire way in the opening game, but didn’t build a commanding lead until late.
After losing the second game, theh Blue Devils scored five points in a row to open a 7-2 lead in Game 3 and gradually increased it.
Game 4 was much the same. The Blue Devils scored six in a row for an 8-4 lead and pulled away until they led 19-10. The Eagles put together a small rally, but an ace by Laughlin ended the match.
Contact Steve Byrne at (440) 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.