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November 14, 2012

Fitzgerald volleyball team wins school’s first district title, falls one match short of state quarters

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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Fitzgerald volleyball team wins school’s first district title, falls one match short of state quarters
Warren Fitzgerald’s Tia Carter dives for a ball while teammate Alexandra Sokolvskyy looks on during the Spartans’ regional final loss to Notre Dame Prep.

PONTIAC — Members of this year’s Warren Fitzgerald volleyball team will always have a place in the Spartans’ athletic history.

That’s because this Fitzgerald team won the volleyball program’s first-ever Michigan High School Athletic Association Class B district title.

The district championship win followed the Spartans taking the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division title with a 9-1 league record.

“It feels really good,” senior middle hitter/outside hitter Tia Carter said. “That’s something that people will always remember, and to be a part of that is something special.”

Fitzgerald fell one match short of the MHSAA state quarters, as the Spartans (15-2) fell 3-0 to Pontiac Notre Dame Prep in a Class B regional final played Nov. 8 at Prep.

That loss can’t take away from the historic season Fitzgerald had, especially considering it was all accomplished under a first-year coach.

“I’m so proud of this team. They gave 110 percent every night,” Spartans coach Maria Marcotullio said. “What we did this year was something that nobody thought that we’d do, and I think that shows you what kind of people these girls are.”

In advancing to a Class B regional final, the Spartans got by Detroit University Prep 3-1 in a Class B regional semi played Nov. 6 at Notre Dame Prep.

On its way to the school’s first district championship, the Spartans knocked off Detroit Pershing and Ferndale High 3-0 in the district quarterfinals and semis, respectively. Fitzgerald beat Hazel Park High 3-1 in a Class B district final played Nov. 2 at Fitzgerald.

The season was sweet for the 12 Spartans and Marcotullio, who played for the Spartans until graduating from Fitzgerald in 2006.

The 2013 group will have a vastly different look, as eight of Fitzgerald’s 12 players are seniors.

Juniors Emily Holland, Lindsay Bullock and Emily Raese, along with sophomore Leah Sanders, should form a solid core for the Spartans going forward, according to Marcotullio.

“It’s really difficult to see the seniors go because of all they’ve done for the program, but I’m excited for what we have moving forward.”

Carter said she’d remember the bond the group built. She said she knows no one can ever take away what they accomplished this season.

“We showed people Fitzgerald won’t always be the underdog,” Carter said. “That’s one of the best feelings you can have.”

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