Macomb Dakota junior outside hitter Jenna Schienke looks to set up a teammate during a Nov. 1 win over New Baltimore Anchor Bay in a district final. The Cougars’ run ended in a regional semifinal.

Macomb Dakota junior outside hitter Jenna Schienke looks to set up a teammate during a Nov. 1 win over New Baltimore Anchor Bay in a district final. The Cougars’ run ended in a regional semifinal.

Photo by Sarah Purlee


Dakota volleyball coach ‘proud’ of her team following 2018 campaign

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published November 12, 2018

 Macomb Dakota volleyball coach Tracie Ferguson looks on from the sidelines during a Nov. 1 playoff win. The Cougars lose four players to graduation and have 10 eligible to return next season.

Macomb Dakota volleyball coach Tracie Ferguson looks on from the sidelines during a Nov. 1 playoff win. The Cougars lose four players to graduation and have 10 eligible to return next season.

Photo by Sarah Purlee

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Macomb Dakota volleyball coach Tracie Ferguson called her team’s 2018 season a roller coaster.

Early on, the team struggled a bit in terms of finding the right lineups.

“It was a bit of a task early on,” Ferguson said. “We had to find ways to click.”

The Cougars found their stride, eventually advancing to a Division 1 regional semifinal before falling to Sterling Heights Stevenson in five games Nov. 6.

During the run, Dakota bested New Baltimore Anchor Bay 3-1 Nov. 1 to win the program’s second district title in three years.

“We were able to figure things out at the very right time,” Ferguson said. “This team has fought all year long. I’m proud of them for that.”

In the regional semifinal, Dakota led 2-1, before Stevenson won Game 4 to square the match up and Game 5 to take the match.

“I’m proud of our players,” Ferguson said. “I didn’t think we came out with a lot of intensity, but they picked it up and got it to a point where it was sudden death.”

Stevenson coach Eric Wachterhauser said it was some of the “craziest” volleyball he has seen all year.

“Dakota gave us everything they had,” he said. “We got down, but we were able to pull it out in the end. I’m exhausted. That was ridiculous.”

Dakota will lose a quartet of seniors to graduation — Hailey Naugle, Katelynn Lodge, Alyssa Wutka and Mia Ivanovic. The Cougars have 10 players eligible to return next season.

“We had a deep bench this season. Everybody on this team can play,” Ferguson said. “They’ll work hard in the offseason and come back next year ready to go. Hopefully this game puts a taste in their mouths that they don’t want to have again.”

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