Macomb Dakota volleyball coach Tracie Ferguson talks with her team during a match earlier this season. The Cougars have finished in the top three of the Macomb Area Conference Red Division every year since 2010.

Macomb Dakota volleyball coach Tracie Ferguson talks with her team during a match earlier this season. The Cougars have finished in the top three of the Macomb Area Conference Red Division every year since 2010.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Dakota volleyball coach touts team’s versatility

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published October 1, 2018

 Macomb Dakota’s Bella Ferretti rises up to make a play during a match earlier this season. The Cougars’ next game is against Marysville High at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 4 at home.

Macomb Dakota’s Bella Ferretti rises up to make a play during a match earlier this season. The Cougars’ next game is against Marysville High at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 4 at home.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Since the start of the 2011 season, the Macomb Dakota volleyball team has had a run of success.

Over that span, the Cougars have won four Macomb Area Conference Red Division championships. The team won district titles in 2012, 2013 and 2016. Dakota also won a Class A state title in 2012.

If that run is to continue this season, it will be because of the team’s versatility, according to coach Tracie Ferguson.

“This team is really deep,” Ferguson said. “We’ve got different girls who can play in a lot of different spots. I play every girl on the team a lot of nights. That’s nice to have. It makes practice that much more competitive.”

At press time, the Cougars sat at 9-4 overall and 4-1 in the MAC Red — which was one match behind Utica Eisenhower for first in the division. 

Dakota has its sights set on another division crown. Ferguson said her team can accomplish that goal, but it will be tough.

“There are no nights off in this division,” Ferguson said. “Each team has its own dynamic. One night, we have to focus on our defense; another night, it’s something else.

“We look to keep opposing teams off guard.”

Ferguson likes how her team has played to this point. Dakota has been solid defensively, she said, along with displaying strong blocking and passing.

The Cougars coach, who guided the team to that 2012 state title, said the team has to improve offensively.

“We need to put more balls away,” Ferguson said. “We have to find the open spots and make it easier on ourselves instead of hitting the ball right at a player on the opposing team.”

Dakota has a couple of players who do a great job of scoring points, Ferguson said. 

Senior setter Katelynn Lodge and senior 6-foot-1 middle hitter Hailey Naugle lead the Cougars’ offensive attack.

“They have a bread-and-butter connection,” Ferguson said of Lodge and Naugle. “They have a trust in one another that when they run the offense together, it’s almost a guaranteed point. 

“We have great right side and outside hitters too. I’ve got a deep bench full of great girls. We just have to work on keeping the opposition on its toes, and we’ll have some success.”

Dakota’s next game is against Marysville High at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 4 at home.

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