Stevenson volleyball coach discusses team’s run to 2nd straight regional final

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published November 14, 2016

 Sterling Heights Stevenson volleyball players and students cheer on the team during a 3-0 Nov. 8 win against Troy Athens. The Titans won 40 matches this fall and didn’t drop a single game in Macomb Area Conference White Division play.

Sterling Heights Stevenson volleyball players and students cheer on the team during a 3-0 Nov. 8 win against Troy Athens. The Titans won 40 matches this fall and didn’t drop a single game in Macomb Area Conference White Division play.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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TROY — 40 wins.

A Macomb Area Conference White Division title.

A second straight Class A district championship.

You could say 2016 was a solid year for the Sterling Heights Stevenson volleyball team. The Titans were so dominant that they didn’t drop one game in Macomb Area Conference White Division play.

The team’s success on the court is only part of the reason coach Paul Drdul calls this year’s squad one of his favorites.

“They made me look forward to coming to practice every day,” Drdul said. “This is a group that just comes to practice every day and works as hard as they can. They’re special.”

The team’s run ended in a 3-0 loss to Birmingham Marian in a Nov. 10 Class A regional final.

A win would have given Stevenson (40-7-2) its first regional championship since 1990.

Marian won 25-20 in Game 1, leading for all but one point. The match was tight, though, with no lead being more than five points.

The Mustangs led Game 2 start to finish and won 25-12.

Marian won the final game 25-21. Stevenson led for much of the early part of the third set before Marian took the lead for good at 13-12.

“We talk about momentum, and we didn’t want (Stevenson) to gain any kind of momentum,” Marian coach Angela Kalczynski said. “We figured they’d come out fighting since it’s a situation where, if you lose, your season is over, so we expected a tough last game. I was pleased with how we played. We came out and played our game.”

“We thought we would be able to match up with them,” Drdul said. “We didn’t get the touches we needed to to be able to stay in the match. We weren’t big enough. We needed to serve-receive well, because we don’t have that one go-to hitter.”

Drdul touted the play of senior outside hitter Corinne Herrmann in the final, saying she played great defense in the match.

Herrmann is one of seven players the team will lose to graduation. That group includes MAC White MVP Shannon Carr.

Drdul praised the Stevenson seniors for their selflessness.

“We had seniors who played and seniors who didn’t play,” Drdul said. “There was no complaining. Everybody knew their role and every player on the team was only concerned about winning.

“There was no drama or anybody worried about getting all the glory. This was just an absolute great group to coach.”

Parkway Christian falls in regional final
The Sterling Heights Parkway Christian volleyball team won a Class D district title before falling 3-0 to Auburn Hills Oakland Christian in a Nov. 10 regional final.

The Eagles, which won their first district title in six years, ended the season at 18-19.

For continuous coverage of the state playoffs, check www.candgnews.com.

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