D1/4 Recap: Lake Orion Rallies to Advance

November 16, 2018

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Lake Orion will play for its first MHSAA volleyball championship Saturday.

The No. 2-ranked Dragons, previously Class A runners-up in 2011, downed top-ranked Farmington Hills Mercy in five sets in their Semifinal on Friday to earn a spot in this season’s Division 1 Final at Kellogg Arena.

Senior Paige Briggs – a Miss Volleyball Award finalist this fall – had 43 kills as Lake Orion (67-6) twice fought back from one-set deficits. The 43 kills are tied for fifth-most in one match in MHSAA history.

The Dragons won the fourth set 25-20 and edged Mercy (52-3) in the final set 15-13.

Senior Wren Macaulay had 53 assists and three aces for Lake Orion. Junior Jess Mruzik led Mercy with 27 kills and three blocks, and sophomore Julia Bishop had 44 assists.

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Division 1: Rockford 3, Northville 1

The No. 7 Rams won the final two sets to return to the championship match for the second time in three seasons after finishing runners-up in 2016.

Seniors Lindsay Taylor and Emmy Webb split the attack, Webb with 21 kills off a .514 kill percentage and Taylor with 20 kills. Senior Emilee Karelse had 52 assists for Rockford (47-11-1).

Northville, ranked No. 8 entering the postseason, was led by sophomore Jenna Boksha’s 11 kills plus 10 digs. Senior Gabriella Fisette had 24 assists for the Mustangs (47-7-1).

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Division 4: Mendon 3, Southfield Christian 0

Mendon will play for its first championship since 2001 after a Semifinal performance that improved the No. 2 Hornets to 48-6-3.

Sophomore Anna Smith led Mendon both with 20 kills and nine digs, and senior Aubrey Crotser had 31 assists.

Junior Emily Van Dyke had 13 kills for No. 4 Southfield Christian (27-10-3), and junior Caitlin Warnshuis added 10. Senior Rachel Stiteler had 20 assists. The Semifinal was the first in Eagles program history.

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Division 4: Leland 3, Carney-Nadeau 0

Leland’s powerful seniors led the way as the top-ranked Comets earned a chance to win their first championship since 2015.

Senior Ella Siddall had 34 assists and five aces, while senior Hanna Elwell had 17 kills for Leland (47-10-1).

Carney-Nadeau, also playing in its first Semifinal in this sport, got a big defensive performance from junior Alanis Harris, who had 22 digs. The No. 9 Wolves finished 26-4-1.

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PHOTO: Lake Orion celebrates advancing to the Division 1 championship match after Friday’s Semifinal.