Home, sweep, home!
Playing its final match of the season in the familiar surroundings of its own gym, Plymouth’s volleyball team handed visiting Dearborn Fordson a three-set setback — 25-15, 25-16, 25-15 — in which victory was never truly in doubt.
The match was a Kensington Lakes Activities Association cross-over contest feature the sixth-place teams in the West Division (Wildcats) and East Division (Tractors).
Both teams will be competing in Saturday’s conference tournament before next week’s MHSAA Division 1 playoffs commence.
While Fordson had more than its share of dazzling efforts, Plymouth’s all-around talent level proved to be too much.
“It was a collaborative effort tonight,” said Evangerline Trice. “I thought everyone played well; it wasn’t just one or two players taking over.”
The Wildcats had way too much front-row firepower for the Tractors. When junior Tara Creekmore was denting the Fordson side of the gym floor with meteoric kills, juniors Jayla Lewis and Addie Roach were delivering sweet swings that produced non-returnable missiles.
Middle hitters Mia Milacic, a senior, and freshman Dakota Parnell outblocked their across-the-net counterparts by a healthy margin, leading to the one-sided result.
Intense when they need to be, the Wildcats play with a let’s-have-some-fun flair that is the by-product, Trice said, of the season-long camaraderie that has blossomed among the team.
“They do have fun because their chemistry with one another is so solid,” said Trice. “One of our goals coming into the season was to bond and become a sisterhood and it’s been so nice to see them establish those strong relationships.
“A perfect example is our freshman Dakota. At the beginning of the season she was calm and quiet, but the relationships she has built with her older teammates have allowed her to flourish and be great.
“These girls have fun with each other because they truly like one another.”
After securing a comfortable win in the first set, Plymouth bolted out to a sizable lead in set two before Fordson whittled down a 16-9 lead to 16-14, giving Trice reason to utilize one of her timeouts.
“Sometimes you have to refocus and make sure you’re cutting down on unforced errors,” Trice said of the T.O. “We were running some new plays, too.
“What I like was when we came together during the timeout, the girls were the ones who were discussing what we needed to fix.”
Future should be fun
The Wildcats’ first-year coach said she is encouraged by what the future holds for the program.
“We only have four seniors, so there will be a lot of competition with the girls we have coming back and the ones we have coming up from JV,” Trice said.
“We can only go up from here. Once our season is over, most of the girls will take a couple weeks off before they get into their club season. I’m excited to see how much growth occurs in the off-season.”
Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or firstname.lastname@example.org.