Macomb L’Anse Creuse North volleyball players and coach Denise Sargent, center, celebrate a Nov. 12 regional round win.

Macomb L’Anse Creuse North volleyball players and coach Denise Sargent, center, celebrate a Nov. 12 regional round win.

Photo by Deb Jacques


LCN, Regina volleyball teams prove worth in state playoffs

By: Jason Carmel Davis | C&G Newspapers | Published November 21, 2019

 Warren Regina’s Olivia Dobbs spikes the ball in a Nov. 12 Division 2 regional semifinal win. The Saddlelites advanced to the state quarterfinals for the first time in 29 seasons before falling to Pontiac Notre Dame Prep.

Warren Regina’s Olivia Dobbs spikes the ball in a Nov. 12 Division 2 regional semifinal win. The Saddlelites advanced to the state quarterfinals for the first time in 29 seasons before falling to Pontiac Notre Dame Prep.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

METRO DETROIT — After the district and regional rounds, the volleyball teams from Macomb L’Anse Creuse North and Warren Regina were the last two squads standing from Macomb County.

The Saddlelites and the Crusaders played in state quarterfinals Nov. 19 at St. Clair County Community College, with trips to Battle Creek on the line.


Saddlelites building something
In a banner year, the Warren Regina volleyball team won Division 2 district and regional championships following a run to the Catholic High School League Cardinal Division title match.

The district title was the first for the Saddlelites since 2007. Regina hoisted a regional championship trophy for the first time since 1990, when the school was located in Harper Woods. The CHSL tourney final appearance also was a first for the Saddlelites.

Regina coach Christie Burley-Lietzow, following the 3-1 Nov. 14  regional final win over Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy, said the team this season has battled and performed like champions — particularly considering that the team has just one senior (Claire Greenway) on its roster.

The team’s run ended Nov. 19 in a 3-0 loss to Pontiac Notre Dame Prep in a state quarterfinal match. The Saddlelites ended the season at 29-15.

Regina is set to make another run next season, as 14 of the team’s 15 players are eligible to return. That includes four 2019 CHSL honorees: sophomore Reagan Stempin, and juniors Jenna O’Brien, Heather Broski and Callyn Brown.

O’Brien called the season one to remember.

“We fought so hard all season long,” O’Brien said. “We really believed this could be a special season, and it was.”


A first for L’Anse Creuse North
The Macomb L’Anse Creuse North volleyball team has had its fair share of success, winning various division and district championships.

The Crusaders embarked on uncharted territory this season. A sweep Nov. 14 over Fraser High in a D-1 regional final put LCN in the state quarterfinals for the first time in program history.

The regional title is the third championship of the season for the Crusaders, following Macomb Area Conference White Division and a district title that was the first for the program in 15 years.

The Crusaders saw their run come to an end in a 3-0 loss to Farmington Hills Mercy in a state quarterfinal. The Crusaders ended the season at 42-7.
“I want my girls to get the respect they deserve, and I feel like they earned that this season,” LCN coach Denise Sargent said. “We made it all the way to (the state quarterfinals). This is a good group of girls. They deserve some respect. It’s a little emotional. You hate to see it end.”

Following the match, Sargent talked with her players about the legacy they’ve left. She said it was great to see the school come together on the team’s run. The coach said this year’s group, particularly the seniors, set a new standard for the program.

North loses five players to graduation, including 2019 MAC White MVP Leah Bieniewicz, and All-MAC selections Darienne Johnson and Kelsey Starnes. The team has nine players eligible to return next season.

“We’re just going to keep improving,” Sargent said. “It hurts to lose our seniors. We’ve got a good core group of players coming back, so we should be good going forward.”