volleyball team was playing for a lot more than a 2-0 division record
The Wildcats wanted to win in the worst way for head coach Kelly McCausland, who missed the match to attend the funeral of her grandfather, who passed away on Sunday.
They not only won, they swept visiting Westland John Glenn in three games to move into a tie for first place in the KLAA's South Division with Canton.
"We really wanted to win this game for coach, and for her grandpa," said Plymouth senior captain Katie Salo. "We came together and bonded tonight. Whenever we started slumping, we pulled it together and came through with the win."
Plymouth junior varsity coach Sarah Marody filled in for McCausland.
"I've coached all of these girls at the JV level, so it helped that I was familiar with them," said Marody. "I was impressed with how the girls played defensively tonight."
The first two games were coated with a thick layer of drama. Plymouth trailed game one, 25-24, before storming back to earn the final three points and a 27-25 victory. Junior middle hitter Alex Roberts cemented the win by notching kills on the final two points.
The Wildcats trailed late in game two, 23-22, before taking the final three points to go up 2-0. Roberts again provided the game-clinching kill.
Plymouth surged to a 9-1 lead in game three and never looked back, winning 25-19. The early onslaught was spearheaded by Salo, who registered six consecutive service points at the outset. Dani Risi also sparkled, drilling three straight kills during her team's early uprising.
"We played with a lot of enthusiasm in the last game," said Salo. "Everybody was really focused."
Risi led the 'Cats with 14 kills. Junior captain Kelly Smoltz finished with a team-high seven blocks while Salo chalked up 26 assists.
Junior libero Mariah Tesarz was stellar all night, compiling a team-high 31 digs.
"Both teams played with a lot of energy tonight," Marody said. "It was a fun match to watch."
Ed Wright can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (734) 453-1980.