Dearborn Edsel Ford, Allen Park advance in volleyball districts PHOTO GALLERY – The News Herald | Rare Techy
After the Michigan high school volleyball state playoffs officially began on Monday, most of the first-round matchups came down to the mitts on Tuesday.
Dearborn Edsel Ford Vs. Wyandotte Roosevelt, Taylor Vs. Allen Park District Volleyball Image Gallery
Southgate Anderson hosted a pair of Division 1 District 20 quarterfinals as Dearborn Edsel Ford battled Wyandotte Roosevelt and Taylor High met Allen Park.
Both matches went quite differently to say the least.
EDSEL FORD 3, ROOSEVELT 2
The first quarterfinal of the night turned out to be the more action-packed and drama-filled of the two on Tuesday. It ended with Edsel Ford overcoming a 2-0 deficit to win the match 3-2 (23-25, 14-25, 25-23, 25-20, 18-16).
“I always tell my players, ‘I don’t care if we win or lose, I care how we win and how we lose,” Edsel coach Marisa Sauve said. “Today was not our day. But I have to give it to Wyandotte, they were relentless and took us completely out of our element.”
As the match results show, Roosevelt had momentum on its side in the first two sets. The Thunderbirds were forced to call timeouts twice in the opening set to slow the Bears’ scoring, but it wasn’t enough.
In the second set, Edsel scored 10 of the first 14 points, leading to a Roosevelt timeout. However, Roosevelt responded with an 18-3 spurt after a timeout to eventually take a 2-0 lead in the match.
“Our passing was just not there tonight,” Sauve said. “It really took a lot out of our offense. But overall we had to get back to a more fundamental level to get our communication and energy level back to where it needs to be.”
The two teams went back and forth in three sets, but it ended with Edsel scoring four of the last five points. The T-Birds turned that must-win win into much of the fourth set, forcing a match-deciding fifth set.
Rightfully so, it crossed the 15-point mark. Roosevelt failed to cash in on three consecutive game points as it led 14-13, 15-14, 16-15. In the last, Edsel hit back with three consecutive points and closed the set and the match.
“In districts, none of the teams you face are the same as they were at the beginning of the season,” Sauve said. “As much as we’ve improved, so have all the other teams. We didn’t show that tonight, we didn’t come ready to play. If we keep it up, it’s going to be a long week.”
ALLEN PARK 3, TAYLOR 0
The night cap, which started with a delay of over an hour and lasted five sets from the first quarter-final, turned out to be one-sided in the end. Although not the cleanest performance, Allen Park ended up beating Taylor 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-11).
“We started out a little slow here today,” Allen Park coach Brooke Tkach said. “But we were able to come through. One thing that really helped was the communication aspect of going after balls. Once we started doing that, it really helped.”
Allen Park went up by as many as 11 (19-8) in the opening set. The Jags let Taylor hang around a bit more early in the second set, but pulled away late, dropping eight of the final 12 points. But as Tkach said, Allen Park had an emphasis on cleaning up a few things.
The Jags used those adjustments well and opened the third set with 15 of the first 17 points, including 11 in a row. A big cushion helped them to their second 3-0 win of the season over Taylor.
“Allen Park is always tough for us to keep up with them,” Taylor coach Kayla Collins said. “I noticed (in the first back-to-back) that our defense wasn’t cutting our shots as much. We weren’t making the blocks. I think in the second game they picked up on that better.
“Unfortunately we fell short tonight.”
The loss ended Collins’ second year as the Griffins’ head coach. Now he faces the difficult task of replacing eight seniors he praised for the commitment and chemistry they’ve shown over the past two years.
“They’ve climbed the program together,” Collins said. “I think it just clicked this year. I think because they played together for so long, they were able to understand each other’s moves and expectations.
“It’s a good group of girls and a big chunk is leaving,” added Collins. “I’ve got a setter and a passer coming back, so I’m happy to have some key spots stay. And then I’ll try to bring some players up as we try to rebuild this program.”
As for Tkach, he talked about how arguably the main focus when coming to the districts was to control the pace and pace to your liking.
“It’s a big thing when you meet Southgate,” Tkach said. “To control what we can control on our side, especially in defense. And with serving, we try to avoid service errors.”
The district semifinals in Anderson are Thursday night. In the first game, Edsel takes on Lincoln Park at 5:30 p.m. The nightcap will feature Allen Park’s showdown with the district host Titans at 7 p.m.