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Macomb Township

November 7, 2013

Dakota volleyball team downs L'Anse Creuse North to claim district title

Cougars still alive in chase for back-to-back state titles

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
The Macomb Dakota volleyball team celebrates with its trophy after winning a 2013 MHSAA Class A district title Nov. 7. The Cougars are the reigning Class A state champions. Pictured is Dakota senior outside hitter Carli Snyder during the district final.

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Macomb Dakota volleyball team got by Macomb L'Anse Creuse North 3-0 to win a 2013 Michigan High School Athletic Association Class A district title in a match played Nov. 7 at Dakota, but that score is not indicative of how hard fought a match it was.

The Cougars, the defending Class A state champions, had to fight off a furious effort from the Crusaders to win the district title.

Dakota (39-5-0) took the third game 25-19, but that game saw three lead changes and six ties. The final stanza also featued LCN (34-11-6) jump out to leads of 3-0 and 10-7 before the Cougars, coming off the program's first state title, pulled away late. Dakota's biggest lead in the third game was six points.

"We're a team that works on a lot of pressure situations in practice, and I think that's what helped us in a close match," said Dakota senior Carli Snyder, the reigning Gatorade Player of the Year who will play at the University of Florida in 2014.

The second game of the match was just as tight as the third. LCN held an early 5-1 lead before Dakota took the lead for good at 8-7. That game featured three early ties before the Cougars — which advance to a Class A regional semifinal Nov. 12 at Sterling Heights Stevenson against Romeo High — took control.

"That was a little closer than what we wanted," Dakota coach Tracie Ferguson said. "L'Anse Creuse North fought. They left everything on the court and made our job a lot tougher, but it's a good test for us. We need to have that challenge to see if we can come out on top."

The Cougars dominated the opening frame, taking game one 25-12. Dakota jumped out to a 9-1 lead in the first game and led by as much as 13 points.

"We didn't know if we could beat them in the first game," LCN coach Gary Malburg said after the district final. "We kind of got our feet under us after game one and really started making some plays. I've got a lot of young kids, and there's no quit in them. That's what I'm most proud about."

Dakota in advancing to the district final knocked off Anchor Bay 3-0 in a district semifinal played Nov. 6 at Dakota. The Cougars, which won their third straight Macomb Area Conference Red Division title this season, received a bye through the district quarterfinals.

LCN bested Port Huron Northern 3-2 in a Class A district quarterfinal played Nov. 4 at Dakota. The Crusader, which this season captured their third straight MAC Gold title, upended Port Huron High 3-0 in a district semi played Nov. 6 at Dakota.

The winner of the Dakota/Romeo regional semi gets either Fraser or Harrison Township L'Anse Creuse in a regional final set for Nov. 14 at Stevenson.

For information on the time of the regional matches, check www.mhsaa.com.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.