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Royal Oak

Local volleyball squads find differing fates in playoffs

November 13, 2013

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Royal Oak High’s Anna Pacifico prepares to send a shot during a practice earlier this season. The Ravens fell in a Class A district final to Birmingham Groves.

Royal Oak Shrine volleyball coach Bill Wolfe knows as well as anyone that the sport is largely predicated on momentum.

In the Class C district final against Wixom St. Catherine, Shrine was one point from losing the first game, trailing 24-21, before the Knights reeled off five straight scores to steal the game 26-24.

Shrine went on to win the match and its first district title in four years 26-24, 25-10, 25-27, 25-20.

“I think we stepped up. They played us tough; it was a good match. We served well, and didn’t panic and pretty much kept control most of the time,” Wolfe said, while also noting the comeback in game one set the tone. “That kind of took them out of their game for the next one, because they thought they had won it.”

The roles were reversed in the third game, with Shrine leading most of the way before St. Catherine mounted a charge and won.

“Volleyball is so much about momentum, you never know,” Wolfe said.

The Knights kept their composure to finish the job in game four.

“It’s kind of exciting because we only have one seniors. Most of our starters are juniors, and they played as sophomores. So it’s kind of fun to see them mature,” he said.

Shrine went on to play Grosse Pointe Woods in a regional semifinal after press time. The winner takes on Brown City High or Auburn Hills Oakland Christian at 7 p.m. Nov. 14 at Madison Heights Bishop Foley for the championship.

In Class A, Royal Oak High played for a district title but fell to Birmingham Groves in three games Nov. 7 at Southfield-Lathrup.

On the way to the title match, the Ravens beat Berkley High in the semifinal and Oak Park High in the opener, each in a three-game sweep.

In Class B, Clawson High met its match against Pontiac Notre Dame Prep.

The Trojans fell in three Nov. 4 in their opener in three games to the Fighting Irish.

Prep went on to sweep the rest of its opponents on its way to the district championship.

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