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Ahee

State power Dakota ousts South



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South’s Hannah Adams had a solid regional match against Sterling Heights and is going to be counted on to be a team leader next season. photo by Bob Bruce.
November 15, 2012
Grosse Pointe South had no answers in its Sweet 16 match-up against one of the best girls' volleyball teams in the state, Macomb Dakota.

The Blue Devils lost 25-17, 25-10, 25-14 to the Cougars in a Class A regional championship match at St. Clair Shores Lake Shore last week.

Head coach Ryan Welser knew his squad was up against a giant, but he said after the semifinal win that his kids had nothing to lose and everything to gain in the game against Dakota.

Unfortunately, the Blue Devils started off slow, falling behind 10-3 in game one. They made a comeback, cutting the deficit to 13-8, but the Cougars stepped on the gas and took off to the win.

Game two was lopsided and the Blue Devils were never in it, but they regrouped and played well in game three.

They trailed 10-8 and were hitting their stride before the Cougars' all-state hitter, junior Carli Snyder, went to work, sending several spikes to the floor for points. Before fans knew it, the score was 20-12 and that was that.

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Senior Claire DeBoer had 11 kills and sophomore Izzy Murphy had five kills to lead the Blue Devils.

Grosse Pointe South ended its season 35-12-2, while Dakota improved to 56-5.

In its regional semifinal match, Grosse Pointe South ousted Sterling Heights 25-18, 25-20, 25-21.

Sterling Heights, which came in second place in the MAC Blue Division with an 8-2 mark, entered the regional phase of the state playoffs with a perfect 3-0 mark in the districts, having never lost a game.

The Stallions blanked Warren Woods-Tower, Warren Regina and Warren Mott before getting trounced by the Blue Devils.

"Volleyball is a game of runs and we have been able to start runs during our hot streak," Welser said. "The girls came out ready to play and they did a nice job."

The Blue Devils had to stop junior outside hitter Julianna Trombley.

She got off to a quick start in game one, but her kill attempts were curtailed by a wall of defenders.

The Stallions held early leads in each of the three games and they were nip-and-tuck throughout the middle of each one.

What differentiated the Blue Devils from the Stallions was their play at crunch time.

In game one, it was junior Katie Murphy's left-handed serve that put the Blue Devils ahead 24-17 and in game two it was junior Sydney Srebernak's tough serves which put Welser's squad ahead 23-19.

In the final game, it was junior Hannah Adams who used her precision serving to lift the Blue Devils to a 20-14 lead.

The Stallions battled back to tighten the game, cutting the deficit to 20-18 before the Blue Devils were able to get a side-out.

DeBoer served back-to-back points to make it a 23-19 game and two more Sterling Heights points made it a 23-21 game.

After a side-out, Murphy served an ace to win the match and put the Blue Devils into the Sweet 16.

DeBoer had nine kills and 10 digs and Adams added five kills, four aces and 14 digs. Sophomore Ginny Hayden had four aces in game three and sophomore Carina Bertakis chipped in with 17 assists and five kills with zero errors.

Adding to the Blue Devils' kills were Izzy Murphy and Neala Berkowski.

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Ed Rinke