Shelby Township, UticaNovember 7, 2012
Ike volleyball takes district title
By Jon Malavolti
C & G Sports Writer
Utica Eisenhower’s volleyball team won its first district title since 2009.
The Eagles advanced to a regional semifinal contest against Clarkston High, played after press time. The winner plays either Birmingham Seaholm or Troy High in a 7 p.m. Nov. 8 Class A regional final at Romeo High. Check www.mhsaa.com and www.candgnews.com for updates.
During districts, the Eagles were nearly flawless, not dropping a single game. Ike, winners of the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division, dispatched Utica Stevenson, winners of the MAC White Division, in three games in the district semifinal. The Eagles then moved on to top Rochester Hills Stoney Creek in three games in the district final.
“I’m really proud of them,” Ike coach Caitlin Maloney said. “We always set goals every season, and this is one of them. They, especially the seniors, were really excited about it. There’s been a build up to it, a lot of excitement and tears. I’m real proud of them.”
Maloney said the Eagles, who finished the regular season a perfect 10-0-0 atop the MAC Blue, had “a lot of momentum” going into the district matches.
“The girls were really pumped up,” she said. “Volleyball is a momentum game. It can change at any time, but we never let it go the other way. To be able to play in close games like this, they handled themselves really well.”
Ike’s last trip to the regionals resulted in another title and a trip to the state quarterfinals, where it fell to eventual state champion Birmingham Marian.
Maloney said one of the reasons behind this team’s success is the chemistry and cohesiveness of the squad.
“The girls are really close off the court, and they just work really well together,” the coach said. “It’s great to have them celebrate as teammates. There’s a lot of talent on this team.”
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Macomb Lutheran North also won its volleyball district and advanced to play in a Class B regional semi after press time. The winner of the regional semi plays either Warren Fitzgerald or Detroit University Prep in a 7 p.m. Nov. 8 regional final at Notre Dame.
North received a first-round bye in districts, then proceeded to defeat St. Clair Shores South Lake in three games in the semifinal before topping host Center Line in four games in the final.
Utica High, meanwhile, fell in three games to Rochester High in the opening round of its Class A district.