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Pontiac

November 14, 2012

Pontiac Notre Prep and Auburn Hills Oakland Christian volleyball win titles

By Christian Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep sophomore Ashley Knutson sets a shot in a match earlier this season. The Fighting Irish won their first regional title since 2007.

Pontiac Notre Dame Prep volleyball has dominated on its way to a Class B regional championship, but coach Betty Wroubel hasn’t noticed.

The Fighting Irish won their sixth regional title in school history after beating Warren Fitzgerald in three games Nov. 8 at home.

Prep played North Branch High in a quarterfinal after press time. The winner heads to Battle Creek for the semifinals at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 15.

In its playoff run, Prep had yet to lose a game at press time.

“We’re peaking at the right time. I am kind of surprised we haven’t lost a game. Playoff runs are always difficult, so to go without losing a set is an attribute to the girls’ hard work and focus on making a good playoff run,” Wroubel said. “I don’t know if you asked the team, if they’d even know that we haven’t lost a game yet.”

Wroubel added that the key has been their proficiency in serving, and defensively, funneling shots to their veterans on the court.

“They seemed to have stepped up and carried the load,” the coach said.

Another factor has been the Fighting Irish’s ability to concentrate on one point at a time.

“We try not to focus on the other team. We worry about our half of the 900 square feet of the court and what we’re doing. Some of those matches that we won were really tough, even though they were 3-0 wins.”

The regional title is Prep’s first since 2007, when it also won a state championship.

“It’s been a great experience,” Wroubel said. “It’s a great mixture of student-athletes. They get along well, work together and hold each other accountable, which is more rare these days. It’s been fun watching these girls mature.”

In other local volleyball action:
Auburn Hills Oakland Christian won its Class C regional championship.

The Lancers beat Brown City High in three games Nov. 8 at Memphis High.

Oakland Christian took on Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central after press time in a quarterfinal. The winner plays its semifinal at 2 p.m. Nov. 15 in Battle Creek.

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