The Grosse Pointe North girls’ volleyball team had several chances to put away host L’Anse Creuse in its Macomb Area Conference Red Division match last week.
The Norsemen won the first two games, 25-23 and 29-27, to take a commanding lead.
However, they could never get the knock-out point and the Lancers took advantage by winning the final three games 25-23, 26-24, 15-13 to win the match.
“We made far too many unforced errors, especially at critical times in those final three games,” head coach Kim Lockhart said. “We had this match won, but those mistakes let L’Anse Creuse hang around and they took advantage.”
Each game was close, but in the first two the Norsemen won the pressure points with aggressive play.
The errors crept up to bite them in the final three games.
In game four, they led 23-22 after sophomore Erin Armbruster recorded a kill and a block for points. The Lancers, on the brink of losing, rallied to win the next three points.
The Norsemen had their shot to win 25-23, but junior Christa Raicevich’s spike attempt missed the sideline by inches. The Norsemen also lost the next two points after balls missed hitting a line by inches.
Each team had leads in the deciding fifth game, but once again it was the Lancers who won the crucial points down the stretch.
Raicevich led the attack with 21 kills, followed by junior Maddy Bessert with 16, senior Caitlin Gaitley with 10, junior Olivia Ritchie with nine and Armbruster with five.
Senior Colleen Reveley had 59 assists and 16 digs, and junior Vita Aluia had a team-high 46 digs as the Lancers’ attacked every chance they had.
Other defensive leaders were Raicevich with 26 digs, junior Katie Roy with 21, junior Kelsey Parafin with 16, Ritchie with eight and Bessert with seven.
Earlier in the week, North swept host Marysville for the second time during the regular season. It’s the first time North has ever swept Marysville during the regular season and helped Lockhart’s squad stand at 5-4 in the MAC Red Division.
“The girls played very well in a tough place to win, Marysville,” Lockhart said. “That came off playing horrible at the previous tournament (Beast of the East), so the girls needed that win to regain some confidence.”
With one week left in the regular season, Grosse Pointe North is 19-18-5 overall.
Coming up for the Norsemen is a Division 1 district playoff semifinal match at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, against the winner of the Eastpointe East Detroit/Detroit East English Village Prep first-round match.
If the Norsemen win, they play in the title match the next night.