Vivi Smilgius was
exactly where she wanted to be doing exactly what she wanted to be doing
with exactly the right people around her for her 18th birthday on Thursday
senior setter was on a volleyball court playing the game she loves with some
of her closest friends as the Trojans came away from Michigan City with a
26-24, 25-23, 25-17 win over the host Wolves.
birthday playing volleyball instead of throwing a party has been nothing new
“Having a September
birthday, I’ve always had a match on my birthday dating back to when I was
in seventh grade,” Smilgius said. “It’s always fun to spend it with a team.
We’re really close and having a lot of fun playing with each other, so it’s
great to be together.”
As if spending the
evening with her teammates wasn’t enough of a gift, Smilgius was thrilled
that the Trojans were able to gain a measure of revenge over Michigan City
after the Wolves beat Chesterton in three meetings last season, including a
season-ending defeat in the postseason.
The Trojans (8-3,
3-3) have played better this season in the second year under coach Amber
McCaw, but a win over the Wolves had escaped them. With Thursday’s victory,
Chesterton has won three straight matches this week and five of its last
“Coach told us
before the game that we haven’t actually done anything different yet this
season from last year,” Smilgius said. “We’ve beaten who we beat last year
and we lost to who we lost to. This was big for us.”
The opening game
was a back-and-forth affair in which the Trojans picked up some late
momentum to close out a 26-24 victory. The Wolves looked to be in control of
the second game, leading 23-21 late in the game before Chesterton scored the
final four points to take a 2-0 advantage. The Trojans jumped out to a big
lead in the third game and ultimately held off a late Michigan City rally to
win in three games.
Meghan Gaffigan led
the Trojans with 13 kills while Maggie Vrahoretis had three kills, 17
assists and 13 digs. Sydney Baltus added eight kills and 12 digs and
Smilgius had 14 assists.
“Each game we’ve
had different players step up and deliver for us,” McCaw said. “Right now
we’re working on finding our identity. Every person that was out there
contributed for us tonight.”
26-25-25, Michigan City 24-23-17
AT MICHIGAN CITY
Sydney Baltus 8 kills, 1 ace, 1 block, 12 digs; AJ Devereaux 1 ace, 2
assists, 20 digs; Emma Ekblaw 4 kills, 1 ace, 3 blocks; Meghan Gaffigan 13
kills, 1 ace, 6 digs; Vivi Smilgius 1 kill, 1 ace, 14 assists, 7 digs; Greta
Tilden 1 ace, 14 digs; Heather Van Eekeren 1 dig; Maggie Vrahoretis 3 kills,
17 assists, 13 digs; Maddie Wagner 6 kills, 1 dig.
Michigan City --
Reece Shirley 7 kills, 25 assists, 7 digs; Sela Van Buskirk 6 digs; Zeena
Frageman 1 kill; Samantha Jasinski 8 kills; Aailyah Briggs 3 kills, 2 digs;
Micah Ruhe 3 assists, 2 aces, 19 digs; Ellery Dolezal 11 kills, 2 assists, 4
aces, 11 digs; Danielle Fricke 1 ace, 2 digs; Mirabella Hernandez 1 kill, 1
8-3 (3-3); Michigan City 7-4 (2-4).