Southfield Christian volleyball ends season in regional semi

By: Christian Davis | Southfield Sun | Published November 18, 2015

 Southfield Christian’s Emma Paryaski (15) and Tiara Francisco (7) go up for a block against Lansing Christian Nov.10 in a Class D regional semifinal. The Eagles fell in three games.

Southfield Christian’s Emma Paryaski (15) and Tiara Francisco (7) go up for a block against Lansing Christian Nov.10 in a Class D regional semifinal. The Eagles fell in three games.

Photo by Sarah Purlee

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Southfield Christian volleyball’s postseason run came to an end following a loss to Lansing Christian 23-25, 8-25, 12-25 in a Class D regional semifinal Nov. 10 at Plymouth Christian.

“We started out well, and just lost momentum and didn’t recover,” Southfield Christian coach Mike Van Dyke said. “You always hope to play at your peak, and we just didn’t do it that match.”

In game 1, the Eagles led 23-18 before Lansing Christian made its comeback.

Brittany Taber led Southfield Christian with six kills, three aces and eight digs; Tiara Francisco chipped in two kills and four blocks; Raven Smith recorded nine digs and a kill; Kaelin Ray had four blocks and a kill; Rebekah Wilson added 10 assists, six digs and two blocks; Grace Allan tallied 15 digs and an ace; and Emma Paryaski notched three blocks.

The Eagles finished the year 21-11-4 and earned two program milestones.

The team’s district championship was its first since 2009.

“I knew we had the potential to do well. The team came together and just kept improving throughout the year,” Van Dyke said. “I didn’t know if we could win districts, but thought we had a good shot.”

Southfield Christian also claimed a share of the Michigan Independent Athletic Association Red Division, tying Ann Arbor Greenhills at 13-1.

The title was the program’s first since 1999.

“They were very excited — that was one of our goals,” Van Dyke said of the conference title. “We have banners in the gym, and we wanted to get that 2015 up there.”

The Eagles say goodbye to seniors Taber (outside hitter), Smith (outside hitter) and Katelyn Beaghan (defensive specialist).

“They provided really strong leadership,” Van Dyke said.

With the majority of the team expected back next season, the coach hopes to carry the momentum forward.

“This year, we put a good foundation down and kind of raised the bar for our playing level,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll pick up there next year.”

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