Talented Tigers roll in district volleyball

Talented Tigers roll in district volleyball


Talented Tigers roll in district volleyball


This was the first round of the Michigan High School Athletic Association Class D tournament, and the No. 3-ranked St. Philip volleyball team came into Wednesday’s district contest with eyes on another postseason win.

The Tigers, coming off eight straight volleyball state titles, continued their winning ways on Wednesday with a three-set victory over Jackson Christian by scores of 25-9, 25-13 and 25-13.

“I am very happy with the way we started tonight,” said St. Philip head coach Vicky Groat. “It’s very important to come out and set a tone early. I thought the girls came out tonight with fire. We were making the quick plays and they (Jackson Christian) weren’t quick enough to get on to the ball…. As a coach, this is a nice thing to see at this time of the year.”

With the victory, the Tigers will host the Bellevue Broncos Thursday night at 6 p.m. for the district championship. St. Philip has not lost a district match since 1999.

The Tigers took the first six points of the match. St. Philip’s defense came out strong, only surrendering nine points in the first set. Jackson Christian even attempted to cool off the Tigers’ hot start with a timeout at the 15-4 mark, but St. Philip continued its success for the next two sets – not looking back.

“It’s important to come out here and have a fast start,” said Groat. “We are sometimes physically and mentally not ready to step out on to that court, but I thought tonight they came out with eviction. It’s the first game of the district, and hopefully we can continue that play every time we step on to that court.”

As a team, the Tigers are senior heavy as eight members of the squad dress in red and white each match. According to Groat, that experience has been a huge asset for the team’s successes this year.

“It’s important to have this senior leadership,” said Groat. “I am very happy Haley (Swagler) got into the game. She’s been out all year with an injury…. It was kind of special and emotional. These seniors have been in the program for a long time, (and) they are leading the way here.”

Statistically for St. Philip, Abby McKinzie led the team in kills with 14, while adding in eight digs and an ace. Teammate Emily Schaub contributed with four kills, 24 assists, six digs and three aces. In all, the Tigers’ team tallied 31 kills, 26 assists, 36 digs and 10 aces.


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Talented Tigers roll in district volleyball

Talented Tigers roll in district volleyball, play for title Thursday

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