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Hazel Park, Madison Heights

October 30, 2013

Volleyball playoffs right around the corner

By Christian Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Madison Heights Lamphere senior captain Felica Vacante sends a pass in a practice earlier this season. The Rams open their Class B district against Detroit Henry Ford in the first round at 6 p.m. Nov. 4 at home.

The road to Battle Creek and the volleyball state championships are in sight, but first, teams will be making their first stops at the district level.

Here’s a look at where each of the local teams will be and which programs will be joining them.

First-round matchups take place Nov. 4, semifinals are Nov. 6 and finals are Nov. 8 unless otherwise noted.

Class B at Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood
Madison Heights Lamphere coach Patty Waidknecht knows her district won’t be easy, especially with the likes of Pontiac Notre Dame Prep lurking on the other side of the bracket.

The Fighting Irish are ranked No. 1 in Class B according to the Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association, and they have lost only one match all season.

“I think we’ll do well in the district. Prep will be tough to get past. They’re ranked No. 1, but nothing is impossible,” Waidknecht said. “We tend to play our best ball against bigger and stronger teams, actually. We might not always win, but I’m impressed by the way we’ve played.”

First, Lamphere has to contend against Detroit Henry Ford in the first round at 6 p.m. at home.

Prep takes on Clawson High at 6 p.m. at Clawson in the only other first-round match.

Cranbrook drew a bye and plays the winner of Ford and Lamphere at 5 p.m. in a semifinal at home.

Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day has the other bye and plays either Clawson or Prep at 7 p.m. in the other semifinal at Cranbrook.

The Championship is 6 p.m. at Cranbrook.

Class B at Warren Fitzgerald
In a rematch of last season’s district final, Hazel Park High and Warren Fitzgerald meet again, this time in the first round at 7 p.m. at Fitzgerald.

Hazel Park lost the deciding match last season, and it’s been a goal of the Vikings all season to not let that happen again.

“We remember how it felt last year to be as close as we were,” she said earlier in the season. “To win the district is definitely our goal. We remind ourselves all the time about that: about how that felt to lose that game and how it will feel like if we can win that game.”

Ferndale University plays the winner of the rematch at 7 p.m. in a semifinal.

On the other side of the bracket, Ferndale High plays Detroit Central Collegiate in the first round at 5 p.m. The winner meets Detroit Old Redford at 5 p.m. in the other semifinal.

The championship is 5 p.m.

Class C at Royal Oak Shrine
Madison Heights Madison and Wixom St. Catherine get this district started, playing at 6 p.m. in the first round.

Bloomfield Hills Sacred Heart awaits the winner at 7 p.m. in a semifinal.

In the other semifinal at 4:30 p.m., Royal Oak Shrine and West Bloomfield Frankel meet.

The championship is 6 p.m.

Class C at Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett
With only four teams in the district, action starts at the semifinal level.

Harper Woods High takes on Detroit Edison Public at 4:30 p.m. On the other side, Madison Heights Bishop Foley meets the host at 5:45 p.m.

The championship is 5:30 p.m.

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