Tower volleyball team bumped to MAC Blue, battling tough competition
Published September 26, 2012
WARREN — Third-year Warren Woods Tower volleyball coach Scott Barbe says he had a specific goal in mind when he took the job.
Barbe, whose team sat at 9-9, 0-2-2 in the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division, at press time, wanted to build a program that has staying power. The Titans finished in last place three straight years prior to him taking over the program in 2010.
Barbe is on the right track. His Titans won the MAC Silver Division in 2010 and 2011, and reached the 20-win plateau in each of those years,
The success has meant that Tower had a new find a home, moving from the MAC Silver all the way to the Blue.
“You see teams moved up or down one division all the time, but it doesn’t happen a lot that a team is bumped up two divisions,” Barbe said. “I think things are going well. We played Port Huron our first league match. We lost, but it went five (games). The level of competition is tougher, but that can only be good for us.”
Barbe recognizes facing tougher teams doesn’t always translate to wins. He also understands that Tower is smaller than some of the other teams from Class A schools.
He has a more long-term outlook, though, and believes competing against higher-level competition better prepares his team for the postseason. Outside of league play, Barbe said he enters the Titans in top-level tournaments.
Tower advanced to the district semifinals in 2010 and lost in the quarters in 2011. Barbe said his main goal is to win a district championship.
“I think it’s good for us,” Tower senior outside hitter and captain Erica Wilson said. “Playing against better teams is gonna show us what the playoffs will be like.”
“Playing against teams from bigger schools teaches us not to be intimidated by anybody,” senior middle blocker McKenzie Wohlfarth said.
Barbe believes this year’s team has the makings of one that could make a deep playoff run. He said his seniors — Wilson, Wohlfarth, libero Samantha Borowiak and outside hitter Vicki Guzowski — are the backbone of the team.
“Those four do a great job with the younger players,” said Barbe, whose team comprises nine juniors and two sophomores along with the four senior captains.
Borowiak believes her team will have to fight hard to accomplish its goals.
“If we work as hard as we can, we can win districts,” said Borowiak, in her second year with the Tower volleyball team. “Everybody just has to want it.”