Anchor Bay volleyball players and coaches pose with their Class A regional championship trophy. The Tars outlasted Sterling Heights Stevenson 3-2 to claim the program's first regional title.

Anchor Bay volleyball players and coaches pose with their Class A regional championship trophy. The Tars outlasted Sterling Heights Stevenson 3-2 to claim the program's first regional title.

Photo by Jason Carmel Davis


Anchor Bay volleyball outlasts Stevenson in marathon regional final

Tars head to state quarters

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published November 9, 2017

 Sterling Heights Stevenson's Alexis Kopicki sets to slam home a point in a Nov. 1 district semifinal win. The Titans fell 3-2 to Anchor Bay in a Nov. 9 regional final.

Sterling Heights Stevenson's Alexis Kopicki sets to slam home a point in a Nov. 1 district semifinal win. The Titans fell 3-2 to Anchor Bay in a Nov. 9 regional final.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

ST. CLAIR SHORES — In what could be described as a battle of wills, the New Baltimore Anchor Bay volleyball team outlasted Sterling Heights Stevenson 15-12 in Game 5 in a Class A regional final Nov. 9 at St. Clair Shores Lake Shore.

 

The regional title is the first for the Tars. They take on Farmington Hills Mercy in a state quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Nov. 14 at West Bloomfield High.

 

“This is something we've strived for,” Anchor Bay coach Brittany McGinnis said. “The girls see the banners on the wall, and they wanted a regional title to put up there. They’ve been playing great. Now we’ll set our goals higher.”

 

Game 5 of the match saw five ties and four lead changes. The largest lead of the deciding game was three points.

 

Stevenson was out for a regional title in its third straight appearance in a regional championship match.

 

“We knew what we needed to do. Our Achilles heel has been finishing off Game 5s,” Titans coach Paul Drdul said. “But that match is what high school sports are all about. You can’t replicate that at any other level. I’ve been to three straight regional finals and none of them was like this.”

 

Anchor Bay took the first game 25-15 and led for much of the way. The game was tight early, evidenced by the six ties and three lead changes.

Stevenson (30-12-1) rebounded and took the second game 25-22. The Titans led the entire frame, but didn’t hold an advantage of more than four points.

 

The Tars took the third game 25-20. Like Stevenson in Game 2, Anchor Bay led for the majority of Game 3. The Titans battled back late after falling behind 19-11, but the Tars were able to seal the deal.

 

Stevenson stayed alive with a 25-18 Game 4 win. The game featured runs by both squads. The Tars used a 6-1 run to take a 12-9 lead, but Stevenson answered with an 8-1 run of its own to go up 17-13 on its way to tying the match.

 

“When you're in a match like that against a good team, your emotions can go all over the place,” McGinnis said. “Our girls have learned how to keep their emotions in check, and just relax and play. That was a great match between two great teams.”

 

The Titans, which played in the Class A title match in 1998, beat Warren Woods Tower 3-1 Nov. 7 to get to the regional final. Stevenson knocked off Utica high 3-1 to claim a third straight district championship Nov. 3.

Anchor Bay knocked off Grosse Pointe North 3-1 Nov. 7 to get to the regional title match.