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Farmington Hills

Farmington Hills Mercy volleyball claims regional crown

November 14, 2012

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Farmington Hills Mercy’s Mary Dulzo sets up a teammate in a regional semifinal against Berkley High Nov. 6 at Farmington High. The Marlins beat the Bears in three and then went on to beat Livonia Stevenson in the final in three.

It’s a desire to win that was born from defeat.

Farmington Hills Mercy volleyball lost to Bloomfield Hills Marian in the Catholic High School League final last month, re-invigorating the program that had won the previous two championships.

“I think our motivation to keep winning partially comes from losing to them,” Mercy senior Mary Dulzo said.

The Marlins have proved it, winning a Class A regional championship Nov. 8 at Farmington High.

Mercy beat Livonia Stevenson 25-18, 25-14 and 25-20.

Coach Loretta Vogel said the team, which played in a quarterfinal after press time, has benefited from having a healthy lineup, which was rare this season.

“It took a lot of time,” she said. “It put a lot of pressure on everyone in general, so it is nice when they’re healthy and back with us again.”

Vogel stressed that this is a different team than last season’s, which played for a state championship. There are two returning starters from that squad.

“This year, there is no one that you can lean on. That’s the biggest difference,” she said. “We have five or six hitters, which makes us stronger in that regard.”

Dulzo agreed.

“This year, it’s a lot different. We’ve had to work into it, progress and work hard to get everything up to the caliber that we want it to be,” she said.

Against Stevenson, the Marlins reached the caliber of play that they’re used to in the second game, which featured penetrating serves and punishing attacks.

“They have to serve strong, because we feel the outcome is in our favor. That’s something we preach to them,” Vogel said.

In the second game, the squads were tied at four before the Marlins took over.

“I think we kind of started off a little rough coming out of the first game,” Dulzo said. “We were confident, but at the same time, I think we knew what we had to do to get it done. We had to serve hard, we had to pass well, and as soon as we were at 4-4, we knew we had to kick it on.”

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