Hazel ParkSeptember 10, 2013
Hazel Park upends Warren Fitzgerald in back and forth volleyball match
Teams battle for five sets before Vikings seal win
By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Staff Writer
The Hazel Park High volleyball team bested Warren Fitzgerald 3-2 Sept. 10 in a rematch of a 2012 MHSAA Class B district final. Pictured is Vikings senior setter Stephanie Toma during the Sept. 10 match.
HAZEL PARK — Hazel Park High School volleyball coach Sue Stuef said her team has some added motivation going into its Sept. 10 matchup with Warren Fitzgerald.
That's because the Spartans downed the Vikings 3-1 in a 2012 Michigan High School Athletic Association Class B district final.
Hazel Park exacted some measure of revenge, as the Vikings bested Fitzgerald 3-2 in a non-league matchup at Hazel Park.
"It was a close match in (the district final), so we wanted some revenge tonight," Stuef said. "We know we'll face them again in the districts, and we're looking forward to that."
The teams split each of the first two games, with Hazel Park (1-1) taking game one 25-17 and the Spartans capturing game two 25-22. The Vikings built as much as an eight-point lead before taking game three 25-23.
Fitzgerald (1-3) didn't go quietly, though, winning game four 25-23 after falling behind by as many as seven points. The Spartans didn't take the lead until a point gave Fitzgerald an 18-17 advantage.
Hazel Park led for the majority of the fifth and final game, jumping out to a 7-2 lead before winning 15-9.
"It was a great match between two pretty evenly matched teams," Stuef said. "I'm so proud of my kids. I've got so many seniors and players who have been with me three and four years. It's awesome to see the growth they've made."
Fitzgerald coach Maria Marcotullio said she told her girls to keep their heads up following the setback. Marcotullio led the Spartans to the program's first district title in 2012. She said she lost eight players from that team and is working in a number of new contributors.
"They played hard today," Marcotullio said. "We didn't play our best today. We made some errors and let some balls hit the ground. But as long as they keep their heads up, we'll do fine."
Hazel Park next takes on Warren Lincoln in a match set for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at Hazel Park.
Lincoln will look to pick up another win when it hosts Mount Clemens in a matchup set for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 12.