Abes, Titans wrap league season with division titles

By: Sue Teggart | Warren Weekly | Published November 2, 2011

 Warren Woods Tower senior Marissa Petz tips the ball during a match at a quad Roseville High hosted Oct. 22. Tower and Warren Lincoln wrapped their league seasons by capturing league titles.

Warren Woods Tower senior Marissa Petz tips the ball during a match at a quad Roseville High hosted Oct. 22. Tower and Warren Lincoln wrapped their league seasons by capturing league titles.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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WARREN — When it comes to Macomb Area Conference volleyball, Warren Lincoln can be a bit selfish.

Last year, the Abes finished as co-champions in the Bronze Division with New Haven High. This year, the squad captured sole possession of the league title, posting 9-1.

“Last year, we had to share it, and we don’t like to share,” said senior Brittany Streetman with a laugh. “We came back this season knowing we wanted it. We knew we wanted to get back-to-back titles. We always had it in the back of our heads that we wanted to win the title.”

Winning the league didn’t come easily for the Abes, however. In fact, Warren Fitzgerald led the division until the last two weeks of the season.

“When Fitz came into our gym, they just dominated us,” coach Debbie Spranger said about the squads’ first meeting. “We were really caught off guard. We had to do a lot of adjustments the second time around. After they beat us, they were really in the driver’s seat because they had no losses.”

It wasn’t until the week of Oct. 10, when Fitz fell in the standings after dropping matches to New Haven and Lincoln, that the Abes took control of division.

“I think it was huge, because New Haven played (Fitzgerald) first and really set the tone by beating them,” Spranger said. “When we faced (Fitzgerald), it went to five games, but that knocked Fitz down and put us in first.”

Spranger said although it took some time this season for the Abes to find their rhythm, they had a solid court connection working in their favor.

“The best thing about this team is that we have great camaraderie,” Spranger said. “It was just a matter of time of playing and building the confidence. Once we built their confidence, they knew they could get the job done. Each game, we were getting better and better.”

“We came together and realized what we needed to do to win it and came together as a team,” said senior Gina Sarbinwoski.

The Abes, a self-proclaimed “five-game team,” said playing in deep matches helped with mental toughness, and ultimately, their success.

“We’re able to pull it together when we have to,” Sarbinowski said. “Some teams, when they get down, they can’t get back up. We pick each other up and are able to pull through in tough matches.”

Spranger said capturing back-to-back titles has done more than bolster her squad’s confidence, it’s taught the girls valuable life lessons.

“They carry their head higher now,” Spranger said. “When they go around the school, they walk around with pride. I just think this is going to help them later in life. If you work hard, good things are going to happen. That whole team concept is huge, because you’re counting on other people to get their job done and you’re trying to get your job done at the same time.

“Hopefully, what they learned from here can be applied in the workforce, and realize that what it takes to be champions is what it also takes to be successful in life.”

Titans defend title

Warren Woods Tower’s volleyball squad finished the regular season 9-1, 19-13-8 overall at press time, to capture a share of the MAC Silver Division title with Madison Heights Lamphere.

The only match Tower dropped all season was Oct. 13 against the Rams.

“It’s always a goal that we had,” said coach Scott Barbe. “It’s very exciting for the girls to do. It’s very uplifting. It means a lot to the program — not just the girls who are leaving, but the younger girls, too. It gives them something to push for in the future.

“We’ve created a strong sense of pride and a real family atmosphere at Tower, and we want that to continue.”

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