Members of the Rochester Hills Stoney Creek volleyball team celebrate with the trophy after winning a Division 1 district final Nov. 8 at Rochester High. The Cougars beat Rochester in three games.

Members of the Rochester Hills Stoney Creek volleyball team celebrate with the trophy after winning a Division 1 district final Nov. 8 at Rochester High. The Cougars beat Rochester in three games.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Trio of local volleyball teams capture district titles

By: Jacob Herbert | Rochester Post | Published November 13, 2019

 Pontiac Notre Dame Prep’s Alyssa Borellis spikes the ball in a Division 2 district semifinal against Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood Nov. 6 at home. The Irish swept the Cranes and then swept Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day in the final Nov. 8.

Pontiac Notre Dame Prep’s Alyssa Borellis spikes the ball in a Division 2 district semifinal against Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood Nov. 6 at home. The Irish swept the Cranes and then swept Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day in the final Nov. 8.

Photo by Donna Agusti

ROCHESTER/ROCHESTER HILLS — The district round of the state volleyball tournament has come and gone, but not without a handful of local teams picking up some hardware. Following is a look at how some local teams fared in the district round.

With a sweep of Rochester High in a Division 1 district final, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek won its third district title in as many years. The Cougars, ranked No. 9 overall in D-1, beat the Falcons 25-11, 25-19 and 25-17 Nov. 8 at Rochester to claim the title.

The Cougars’ route to the title was not the easiest, as they had to get past Macomb Area Conference Red Division runner-up Utica Eisenhower and Rochester Adams. Stoney Creek beat Adams in five games, including 15-12 in game 5, and swept Eisenhower.

“We overcame some big obstacles,” Stoney Creek coach Ross Talbott said about the win over Adams. “I didn’t think it was our best match; we got off to a slow start in both the first and second set. It was a pretty good win to close out, even though we weren’t playing our A-game.”

Before falling to Stoney Creek in the district final, Rochester topped Romeo High in four sets in the semifinal to get there. The Falcons finished the season at 15-33-2 overall and 3-4 in the Oakland Activities Association White Division.

The Falcons will lose seniors Carly Rodman, Sidney Stewart, Helena Rowland, Jesi Abolins, Morgan Bolden and Pegi Laci. Coach Kirk Gibbs said his seniors helped create a culture that will bring success to future Falcons volleyball teams.

“Our seniors were just the core of the team this year,” Gibbs said. “Everything was based on them buying into the program, and they did. They always worked with the younger kids and the underclassmen, trying to make them better.”

In his first season at the helm of Adams volleyball, Terry Baughman led his team to an overall record of 28-17 and a 3-4 record in the OAA Red. Seniors Emmanula Gjokaj and Amber Morris are now set to depart from the program.

Baughman said there was a lot to be impressed with from the Highlanders, but the growth they made from day one to the end of the season was substantial.

“We spent a lot of the beginning of the season focusing on details,” the coach said. “Once they started to buy into the details, we started making progress.”


In other local volleyball action
Also winning a district title was Pontiac Notre Dame Prep. The Irish, No. 5 in D-2, didn’t drop a single set as they swept Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood Nov. 6 in the district semifinal and No. 8 Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day in the district final Nov. 8 at home.

The Irish have now won 22 district titles in the school's 26 seasons.

In D-3, Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest also didn’t drop a single set en route to its district title. Northwest beat Madison Heights Bishop Foley Nov. 8 in the final after sweeping through Warren Michigan Collegiate Nov. 7 and Royal Oak Shrine Nov. 5.