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Berkley High volleyball falls in regional semifinal

Published November 14, 2012

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Berkley High senior Maddie Oliver sets up a pass for a teammate in a Class A regional semifinal against Farmington Hills Mercy Nov. 6 at Farmington High. The Bears lost in three games.

The playoff road came to an end for Berkley High volleyball, but coach Liz Primeau couldn’t be prouder of the way her squad battled.

The Bears lost to Farmington Hills Mercy 25-6, 25-10 and 25-5 in a Class A regional semifinal Nov. 6 at Farmington High.

“They played really well for going up against Mercy. They’re a great team and have just a different caliber of a program,” Primeau said of the 2010 state finalists. “But the girls tried their hardest. They played as well as they could.

“I’m extremely proud of them. We set the goal from the beginning that we wanted to win a district. They exceeded my expectations, and I think their own expectations. They played terrific this year. There was a lot of teamwork. They all bonded, and there was no out-shining one another.”

Berkley finished 8-7 overall and 6-1 in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division, which put it in second place behind Bloomfield Hills Andover. It also captured its first district title since 2008.

Next season, the Bears and Andover are moving to the OAA White and a whole new set of challenges, which Primeau is looking forward to taking on.

“I’m excited for them. I think it’ll be a great challenge, a new set of teams to play, and it’ll make them have to work a little harder and will prepare them even more for going past districts next year.”

The Bears say goodbye to seniors Blair Birnie, Maddie Oliver and Lisa Wassenberg.

Oliver was a three-year varsity member.

“She brought setting to a whole different level for the program,” Primeau said.

Birnie and Wassenberg both played libero and defensive specialist.

“We’re really going to have to work to replace what they brought to the court,” the coach added.

Primeau said she’d also have to replace their leadership.

“I think this is the first year I’ve had a group work this well together. It came down from the seniors,” she said. “They wanted to make sure that everyone was a team. They followed through on it from day one to the end.”

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