West Bloomfield High volleyball makes a run

By: Zachary Manning | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published November 14, 2019

 West Bloomfield High’s Lauren King prepares to serve against Troy High Nov. 12. The Lakers beat the Colts 3-0.

West Bloomfield High’s Lauren King prepares to serve against Troy High Nov. 12. The Lakers beat the Colts 3-0.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 Juliana Davis hits the ball. The Lakers played in the regional final after press time.

Juliana Davis hits the ball. The Lakers played in the regional final after press time.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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Editor’s note: West Bloomfield was scheduled to play Lake Orion High in a regional final after press time.

WEST BLOOMFIELD — A district title has been something that has evaded the West Bloomfield High volleyball program for quite some time.

According to Lakers coach Lauren DeLuyck-Forbes, the last district title for the Lakers came nearly three decades ago. The Lakers have had chances to end that drought, including last year, when they lost to Troy High in a Division 1 district final.

This season, there was even more hope for a district title. West Bloomfield was hosting and received a bye into the district semifinal round.

The Lakers made quick work of Walled Lake Western, winning 3-0 to advance to the district final again. This year, Walled Lake Central was the team standing in the way.

West Bloomfield and Central would need all five sets to determine a champion, but in the end, the Lakers were able to edge out the Vikings.

DeLuyck-Forbes said, “It was the coolest experience watching a team that has been incredibly underestimated all year come out on top with a district win.

“Winning the district title sealed the deal on all of the goals we set. Most of all, we made history,” she said. “This program hasn’t won a district title since 1991. That is a huge achievement for this program as a whole, and I am proud to be a part of it.”

With a district title in hand, the Lakers headed into the regional round, where they swept Troy in the semifinal Nov. 12 at Rochester Hills Stoney Creek.

The Lakers had lost to the Colts three times this season, along with last year’s district final.

“After four losses total, this team was out to avenge all of them in this match and came with a vengeance,” DeLuyck-Forbes said. “The message to my players was that they are 100% ready for this in all aspects, and that they just need to play with full confidence and keep focused point by point.”

DeLuyck-Forbes took over the program in 2017, and she believes this year’s success will continue to put the program on the map.

“West Bloomfield volleyball is often overlooked, and this is considered outside the norm for this program,” DeLuyck-Forbes said. “When I was driving home last night after our win, I was thinking about how when I got this program how much potential I saw for greatness and how far we have come. Each year has been an improvement, and now when I look at all of the girls in this program, I see a complete change in our mindset and mentality.”

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