Huron Valley Lakeland claimed its third consecutive Michigan High School Athletic Association district title on its home floor at the expense of its rival, Huron Valley Milford.
The Eagles defeated the Mavericks in three straight sets; 32-30, 26-24 and 25-11 in a Class A district final on Friday, Nov. 4.
“This is something that our team set as a goal at the beginning of the season and have been working so hard day in and out to achieve,” said Lakeland Head Coach Jennifer Cottrill. “I thought the team did an outstanding job of staying mentally focused on the task at hand and not the team on the other side of the net this week.”
Milford Head Coach Jeffrey Stark said the final set was awful and disappointing to his team.
“Lakeland is good, but as seen in the previous two sets we are better then this,” Stark said. “It was a great night overall, especially the first two sets, but I feel bad, heartbroken really, that this last set is what our seniors will walk away from the game with. This is a really great team with fantastic athletes and I really wanted them to win on the court.”
Mary Armstrong led Lakeland with 13 kills while Brittany Leonard had 11 kills.
Ciara Schultz also had 10 kills, 42 assists and 18 digs for Lakeland while Lindsay Hansard had 30 digs.
“I thought my seniors did an amazing job. Hansard played very consistent all week, which enables Schultz to run a very efficient offense,” Cottrill said. “This allowed Leonard and Armstrong an opportunity to dominate at the net.
“Caitlin Wojichowski is our team’s unsung hero as she never gets the recognition that the other players do but her hard work, leadership and voice on the court allows us to be as successful as we have been,” Cottrill added.
Lakeland played Canton in a Class A Regional semi-final at Brighton on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
The winner will face either Brighton or Farmington Hills Mercy in the regional final on Thursday, Nov. 10 at Brighton.
Last season, the Eagles fell to Mercy in five sets in the regional semi-final. Mercy went on to finish as the Class A state runner-up to Bloomfield Hills Marian.
Milford’s Rachel Kopf finished the district tournament with a total of 23 kills, while Dagny Stark had 15 kills.
Jonna Villemure was 37-for-37 serving for the tournament with 2 aces and 57 assists, while Erin Winn had zero errors throughout the tournament and was 22-for-22 serving with 7 kills and 23 digs and was 12-for-12 in serve receive.
Lakeland began the district tournament on Tuesday, Nov. 1 with a straight-set victory over Howell, 25-16, 25-16, 25-13.
Armstrong had 9 kills. Schultz had 21 assists and 5 kills and Hansard had 18 digs.
Then in the district semi-finals on Wednesday, Nov. 2, Lakeland took down rival Walled Lake Northern at home in straight sets, 25-12, 25-16, 25-17.
Schultz had 11 kills, 4 aces, 30 assists and 19 digs. Wojichowski had 7 kills, 5 assists and 9 digs.
Meanwhile, Milford had a first-round bye and played in the other semi-final on Nov. 2 against Walled Lake Central at Lakeland.
The Mavs trailed 9-4 in the first set and Stark called a time-out.
“I asked the girls if they were done yet so that we could move past the bad play and into the good stuff,” Stark said.
Milford then went on a 21-3 run to close out the first set and then won the next two sets, 25-19, 25-17.
The Mavs finished the season at 25-17-3.