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November 13, 2013

North downs South for district title; Liggett also wins

By Thomas Franz
C & G Sports Writer

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Grosse Pointe South’s Elizabeth Murphy hits a shot over two North defenders in the district final on Nov. 7.

GROSSE POINTES — Grosse Pointe North used a tremendous comeback in the second game to defeat its crosstown rival, Grosse Pointe South, in three games, 25-18, 26-24, 25-18, to win a district title on Thursday evening.

After winning the first game, North fell behind 22-11 in the second, but North’s Christa Raicevich sparked the comeback by hitting three aces and three kills during the rally.

A kill by South’s Elizabeth Murphy gave the Blue Devils a 24-22 lead, but North won the final four points to take a 2-0 advantage.

“Christa (Raicevich) just started serving great, and that got everybody’s confidence back up,” North coach Kim Lockhart said. “I told them in the timeouts to take it one point at a time, and that if we were going out, we were going to go out fighting. We just came back and kept on coming back. It was insane.”

North used the momentum it gained from the end of the second game to take a quick 10-3 lead in the third. The Norsemen never looked back from there to take the final game and claim the district title.

Raicevich finished the night with 11 kills, while senior Colleen Reveley had 27 assists. Sophomore Erin Armbruster added nine kills, and Maddy Bessert had seven kills.

A key position switch by Lockhart, which put junior Katie Roy (21 digs) in the libero position, fortified North’s back line.

“We made a switch and put her in the libero position, and she did a great job in stepping up and passing the ball really well. She’s only been playing that position for about three games, so it was exciting for her,” Lockhart said.

Murphy, freshman Alexis Kohut and senior Grace Metry helped South jump out to its lead in the second game, but the Blue Devils were unable to hang on.

“We have to make plays at times and learn how to recover when there’s a setback, and we didn’t do that. Give credit to North, they kept the pressure on and didn’t give up, and here and there, we have to pick up more balls, and we didn’t do it,” South coach Kevin Nugent said.

South closed its season with a 26-14-4 record, and the Blue Devils will be returning a good amount of young talent for next season.

“We have a lot to look forward to. It’s tough; the seniors set a great bar for the rest of the kids, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the contribution they made and their leadership,” Nugent said. “Alexis (Kohut) will be a really good player, and Liz (Murphy) is coming back next year. We had another freshman, Emma (Andreasen), who was on the floor tonight, too.”

South’s seniors this year were Metry, Hannah Adams, Sydney Srebernak, Kara French and Katie Murphy. 

North (23-14-7) took on Farmington Hills Mercy in a regional semifinal at Farmington High School on Nov. 12, after press time. The winner takes on the winner of Detroit Cass Tech and Livonia Stevenson in a regional final at 6 p.m. Nov. 14 at Farmington High School. Check our website, candg news.com/sports for up to date coverage of postseason volleyball.

Liggett wins district title
The Knights won a Class C district title at Bishop Foley. Liggett beat Detroit Edison Public School in three games Nov. 8. Liggett beat the host team in four games in the semifinals Nov. 6.

Next up for the Knights was a regional semifinal against Royal Oak Shrine, played after press time. The winner moves on to face either Brown City High or Auburn Hills Oakland Christian at 7 p.m. Nov. 14 at Bishop Foley.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Thomas Franz at tfranz@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1040.