With its rigorous Catholic League schedule just days away from kicking into first gear, Livonia Ladywood’s volleyball team displayed mid-season form during Saturday’s Bay City Invitational.
The Blazers captured their second consecutive weekend tournament by cruising to a first-place showing against teams from the host site’s area.
Ladywood went 3-0 in pool-play action by upending Freeland, Bay City Western and Bay City All Saints in straight sets.
The Blazers’ only hiccup of the day came in quarterfinal round of bracket play when they dropped the opening set against Bay City John Glenn, 25-17, before rebounding to win the final two stanzas, 25-8 and 15-13, to advance to the semis, where they continued their successful run against Western 25-22 and 25-18.
Ladywood had to earn its gold trophy against Essexville-Garber, which pushed the Blazers to three exciting sets before the Livonia team won, 25-17, 22-25, 15-13.
Senior co-captain Haley Moores had a spectacular day, registering 36 kills, 16 aces and a 2.25 passing ratio.
Fellow co-captain Kayla March led the winners with 44 kills. Also contributing to the attack were Madison Benoit (22 kills) and Natasha Strzelewicz, who put down 16 sets.
Setters Monique Lamoureux (44 assists and 17 digs) and Colleen Barnes (37 assists, 10 aces and 16 digs) both shined for Ladywood.
Defensive dynamo Abbi Laurentius posted 36 digs and 12 aces. Madeline Hudson was magnificent in the middle, picking up three solo blocks and seven block assists.
Cougars clip T-Birds
Garden City’s volleyball team continued to run like a well-oiled machine Monday during its 25-16, 25-21, 25-16 sweep of visiting Dearborn Edsel Ford.
The victory lifted the Cougars’ record to 14-5 overall and 3-0 in the Western Wayne Athletic Conference’s Blue Division.
Seniors Allie Lynn and Heather Pennington paced the winners’ offensive attack with 10 and 12 kills, respectively. Lynn dug up 11 would-be kills while Alex Roffi finished with eight digs to go along with her 19 assists.
Lynn was perfect at the service line, ripping all 29 of her serves in play, with 10 resulting in non-returnable aces. Lynn was also remarkable on defense, successfully handling 18 of 19 serves.
“This was a good, competitive match with several long rallies,” noted GC head coach John Pace. “There were numerous times when athletes ran off the court to bring a ball back in play.
Edsel suffered a setback when their setter went down with an injury in the first set. Later on in the first, Heather went down with an ankle injury, but she was able to return in set two.
“We had a great night serving,” observered Pace. “As a coach, to see your team so comfortable at the baseline is a great feeling. It seemed we were better out of system and that was the difference.
“Edsel has a solid team this year not just as volleyball players but as young adults. How they are off the court as well as on shows the character they possess.”