Good start shows Mercy will be tough team again

Good start shows Mercy will be tough team again


Good start shows Mercy will be tough team again


Senior Colleen Hadley (left) and junior Bella McDonald will lead the Marlins in the front row.

Senior Colleen Hadley (left) and junior Bella McDonald will lead the Marlins in the front row.

It appears Mercy High School has another team ready to carry on its tradition of quality volleyball despite major personnel losses and a remade lineup.

The Marlins, who were 53-7-2 and Class A quarterfinalists last year, lost seven seniors to graduation, including four starters.

Perennial all-area slection and all-round player Jenna Lerg is now a member of the University of Michigan team with her older sister, Lindsey.

Setter Shanleigh Conlan is playing for the U.S. Air Force Academy and libero Monica Shuk at Albion College.

Kayla Fisher, an all-area middle blocker and hitter, is attending Central Michigan University and opted not to play volleyball.

Mercy coach Loretta Vogel has eight returning players and has guided the Marlins to a pair of runner-up finishes in early tournaments this year.

“Because we had quite a few seniors and such a solid network of seniors, it has taken a little bit of time for everyone to make those adjustments,” she said.

“Considering we’re somewhat of a younger team and a new team as far as knowing each other, it says a lot for the young ladies on the team.”

Mercy will have an experienced and solid front court again with senior Colleen Hadley, junior Bella McDonald and sophomore Lauren Hunter.

All three either started last season or had considerable playing time as part of the regular rotation of players.

Hadley will be the rightside hitter and is off to a wonderful start, according to Vogel.

Hunter, who will hit from the left side again, injured an ankle before the first match and hasn’t played.

She was primarily an offensive threat last year and is a complete player now, according to Vogel, who is eager to have Hunter back in the lineup.

“She’s our primary passer on defense,” Vogel said. “She performs every skill we want.

“Once Lauren was injured, we moved people around. It allowed someone else to play. We had a chance to see how other young ladies performed.”

McDonald played in the middle last season, but Vogel has had her hitting from the left side at times this year.

“Once again, it’s what we need for that particular game,” Vogel said, adding Hadley is very versatile and can play wherever she’s needed.

With the loss of Lerg and Fisher, Hadley and McDonald will assume larger roles in the offense. The new setter is junior and varsity newcomer Liz Susitko.

“I’m really happy with Liz,” Vogel said. “She stepped in and is handling everything really well.”

In the back row, senior libero Sloan Horejsi and senior defensive specialist Haley Schultz will take on starting assignments, too.

Schultz also has been battling injuries, which could mean more playing time for senior Carmen Compton, another returning DS.

Junior outside hitters Kennedy Kuffner and Jordyn Kreucher also return from last year’s varsity.

Other new players are juniors Allie Sanderson, Hailey Sygiel, Jackie Kaminski, Lexy Arthur and Sydney Hughes, sophomore Aysha Hood and freshmen Kylie Kreucher, Jaeda Porter and Emily Susitko.

The Marlins were second to North Branch and Northville in the Linden and Saline tournaments, respectively, and have compiled an 11-2-1 record.

Mercy’s next competition is a Thursday, Sept. 10, in a quad meet at Troy High School.

Like other years, Vogel’s outlook doesn’t extend beyond the next practice, but it looks as if the Marlins can expect to have another good year.

“It’s taken us a while to see where the new additions fit in,” Vogel said. “It’s a weekly thing. Someone does something nice in practice, and we put that piece of the puzzle together as we go.”


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