North Branch volleyball beats South Lake, moves on to state semis

Broncos two wins away from another state title

By: Jason Carmel Davis | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published November 15, 2016

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CLAWSON — The North Branch High volleyball team is now two wins away from another state championship, advancing to the Class B state semifinals with a 3-0 win over St. Clair Shores South Lake in a state quarterfinal Nov. 15 at Clawson High.

The Broncos (56-9) take on the winner of a Buchanan High/Grant High in a state semifinal at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, The Class B state title match is at 4 p.m. Nov. 19 in Battle Creek.

North Branch is no stranger to the state finals. The Broncos won state titles in 2009 and 2014. The team finished as state runner-up in 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2015.

"We started practicing at midnight the first day we could have practice because we wanted to be the first team on the court," North Branch coach James Fish said. "We have a goal in our mind every year that we want to be the last time standing too. So we want to be in this position every year."

South Lake took an early 1-0 Game 1 lead before North Branch rattled off 23 straight points on its way to a 25-4 lead. The Cavs (25-45) extended the game with three straight points before the Broncos ended it.

North Branch jumped out to a quick 13-2 lead in Game 2 on its way to a 25-11 win. Game 3 saw a 25-10 Broncos win.

South Lake advanced to the state quarterfinals for the first time. Cavs coach Chris Blair said he's proud of his team for the run it made.

"We really just wanted to win (a district title), so everything that came after that was something extra that was great for us and the program," Blair said. "We knew how good North Branch is. That's a great team. We fought until the very end. I couldn't be more proud of the girls."

Fish complimented the Cavs on their resolve.

"They knew they were outmatched, but they battled," Fish said. "I give (South Lake) credit for making it to the state quarters."

South Lake beat Detroit University Prep 3-1 Nov. 10 to get to the quarterfinals.

North Branch downed Goodrich High 3-0 Nov. 10 to move on.

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