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Pontiac

November 21, 2012

Pontiac Notre Dame Prep volleyball loses in Class B quarter

By Christian Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep’s Jenna Sassack goes for a kill in a match earlier this season. The Fighting Irish lost to North Branch High in a Class B quarterfinal in three games Nov. 13 at home.

PONTIAC — Having just fallen in the Class B postseason, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep coach Betty Wroubel was saddened by the loss, but she had nothing but praise for the team that just finished its final match.

“I’ve been coaching for over 30 years. At one time, I did three sports a year, so I have probably coached close to 100 seasons of high school athletics,” she said. “I’ve never coached a group that didn’t have any drama, that just got along, loved coming to practice and practiced hard day in and day out. It was just an amazing group.”

The Fighting Irish lost to North Branch High 25-18, 25-14 and 26-24 Nov. 13 in the quarterfinal round at home.

“Our kids played their hearts out. It wasn’t all there and they weren’t able to perform some of the skills that they normally do, but they played hard, and I’m just so proud of them battling back in the last set.”

Going into the quarter, Prep hadn’t lost a game.

“We weren’t used to the pressure. We hadn’t had a pressure game since we probably played (Farmington Hills) Mercy in the Catholic League semifinals,” Wroubel said. “Part of it is our youth, part of it is the crowd that we played in front of; it’s the biggest one of the season. We have to tip our hat to North Branch. They were able to overcome it.”

Prep finishes 52-10-4 overall and with its first regional championship since 2007.

“That was the best feeling ever, to know in my four years, that’s the furthest we’ve gone. To be a part of that — it was phenomenal,” senior Jacqueline Vyskocil said. “We fought hard (tonight), and even though we didn’t win, we tried our best.”

Vyskocil added that the team’s appreciation and admiration for each other was key to their success.

“We all just loved each other. If one of us wasn’t playing well because we were off, we were supportive for the other person to do well (when they replaced us). We wanted each other to do well. We wanted to see each other succeed, yet we were all competitive and wanted to play,” she said.

Wroubel agreed and credited seniors Madeline Blocki, Haley DelVecchio and Vyskocil.

“What they did to show the way for the young kids was just phenomenal,” she said. “We’re graduating our glue, and that’s going to be tough to replace.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Christian Davis at cdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1062. Twitter Follow Christian on Twitter.