Farmington Hills Mercy sophomore Julia Bishop hits the ball in a Division 1 quarterfinal match against Sterling Heights Stevenson Nov. 13. Mercy coach Loretta Vogel said Bishop is one of the best setters she’s ever had.

Farmington Hills Mercy sophomore Julia Bishop hits the ball in a Division 1 quarterfinal match against Sterling Heights Stevenson Nov. 13. Mercy coach Loretta Vogel said Bishop is one of the best setters she’s ever had.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Mercy volleyball coach reflects on season

By: Zachary Manning | Farmington Press | Published November 27, 2018

FARMINGTON HILLS — It wasn’t the end the Farmington Hills Mercy volleyball team wanted, but it was a season filled with a bunch of wins and a lot of good times.

The Marlins lost to eventual state champion Lake Orion High in a Division 1 state semifinal Nov. 16 at Kellogg Arena, but finished the season with a 52-3 overall record, earned their second consecutive Catholic High School League championship and made it to the state semis for the second straight season.

Mercy coach Loretta Vogel was proud of the way her team performed, and mentioned that the depth and athleticism of her team really showed throughout the season.

“For me, we had a tremendous year, absolutely. Lot of highs, a lot of good times. It was a fabulous season for us,” Vogel said.

As the offseason begins, Vogel spoke about her seniors and what kind of legacy they will leave with the program. The Marlins will lose five seniors: Emily Susitko, Logan Beyer, Maddy Benoit, Mallory Conrad and Ella Loussia.

Vogel was thankful for each of them and the contributions they have made to the school and the volleyball program.

“We’re very fortunate at Mercy. We get some really talented girls, but we also get some dedicated young ladies, and I think that would be something that I look at in regards to the seniors,” Vogel said. “They’re dedicated to volleyball, but they’re dedicated to attempting to perform at their best ability. I think they were always very willing to work at their skills, and I think that’s a plus.”

Even with five players leaving the program, Vogel knows she has a wealth of talent returning, including Jess Mruzik, Julia Bishop, Kayla Shields, Ellen Tisko, Charli Atiemo and Kaylin Collins.

Vogel had high praise for Mruzik and Bishop, calling Mruzik a special athlete and Bishop one of the best setters that she’s ever had.

“In my career, I’ve only had one other setter that I’ve ever had like Julia. As a quarterback of your team, she just sets a certain pattern,” the coach said. “She’s only a sophomore, but being able to see the game the way she does as a sophomore, I’m just amazed at her abilities there.”

As she does every year, Vogel expects everyone to step up and become leaders next year. In her philosophy, each player has a role and is expected to deal with the challenges of the role to make the team better.

“I don’t necessarily look and say, ‘Hey seniors, you need to do this.’ I think it’s a real nucleus of everyone. We’re going to have seniors and juniors next year. We do have some young players that will step up and be put on varsity, but I think it’s just a different philosophy,” Vogel said.