West Bloomfield High’s Kate Horvath prepares to serve during a match earlier this year. The Lakers received a bye to open postseason play.

West Bloomfield High’s Kate Horvath prepares to serve during a match earlier this year. The Lakers received a bye to open postseason play.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Local volleyball teams gearing up for postseason

By: Zachary Manning | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published October 25, 2019

 West Bloomfield celebrates a point. The Lakers fell in a Division 1 district final last season.

West Bloomfield celebrates a point. The Lakers fell in a Division 1 district final last season.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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WALLED LAKE/WEST BLOOMFIELD — Postseason volleyball is right around the corner, and local teams are gearing up to make their postseason runs.

The state playoffs begin Nov. 4, and Walled Lake Northern and Walled Lake Central are set to square off at 7 p.m. at West Bloomfield High in a Division 1 district.

With both teams being in the Lakes Valley Conference, Northern coach A’Jhane Smith is looking forward to the rematch.

“I’m very excited for this district draw,” Smith said. “Central is a team we’ve seen in our regular season and fell to both times. We’re looking at this draw as redemption, and I’m hoping my team comes out fearless and strong.”

With a district title in 2018, Northern knows what it takes to advance in postseason play. The Knights also know that one loss will end their season, which is something they are looking to avoid.

“I think the girls know we are at the end of the season, so if we lose, that’s the end, but if we win, we live to see another team. So the girls have that mindset to push themselves and work as a team a little harder so we can see the next team,” Smith said.

West Bloomfield is also in the same district and has received a bye into the semifinals. The host will await the winner of Milford High and Walled Lake Western. Those two teams play at 5 p.m. Nov. 4 at West Bloomfield. The Lakers’ match is at 7 p.m. Nov. 6.

After bowing out in a district final last season, the Lakers have their sights set on finding even more success this season.

“This year is different than years past,” Lakers coach Lauren DeLuyck-Forbes said. “The team was ready to shift their mindset right away to focus on the postseason. They know they have a great shot at doing well in postseason play, and they are willing to work as hard as they can for it.”

As district play nears, the Lakers are excited to chase after a title. DeLuyck-Forbes said it’s been since the early 1990s that they’ve won a district championship. She believes her team’s tough schedule has prepared the Lakers well to win it this time.

“I believe that what they have been through and the consistent challenges that were presented to them over the past month have prepared them extremely well to compete in the postseason,” she said.

In D-4, West Bloomfield Frankel Jewish Academy will play at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 4 against Plymouth Christian Academy. That district is hosted by Southfield Christian.

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