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Volleyball roundup: Plymouth Christian claims Class D crown

Eric Coughlin
Special to The Detroit News

Plymouth Christian defeated Auburn Hills Oakland Christian, 25-18, 22-25, 25-19, 25-19, to win the Class D state volleyball championship in Battle Creek on Saturday.

Senior captains Olivia Mady and Divna Roi led the way for Plymouth Christian in their last game. Mady had eight kills and 12 digs, while Roi recorded 24 digs.

Plymouth Christian coach DJ Kellogg credited its tough defense for stopping Oakland Christian from going on extended runs.

"We never game up a run of more than four or five points," Plymouth Christian coach DJ Kellogg said. "We knew they wouldn't go away, and they're a smart team, so we had to make adjustments."

For the first time this year, Plymouth Christian used two setters instead of one, and Kellogg changed the perimeter defense. The adjustments worked, avenging Plymouth Christian's close loss to Oakland Christian earlier in the season.

"The girls felt good mentally, were fairly confident and surprisingly calm,” Kellogg said.

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Plymouth Christian bowed out in the semifinals last year, but Kellogg thinks tough preseason tournaments against bigger schools this year got his team mentally ready for the playoffs.

"The tournaments we played were all against top-ranked schools,” Kellogg said. “We didn't care about our record this season, just the state championship.”

Class B

North Branch (58-9) defeated Lake Odessa Lakewood, 25-15, 25-21, 25-20.

"We had a great season, beating the No. 1-ranked team in the state finals. The kids were so focused," North Branch coach James Fish said.

Allyson Severance had 12 kills, Reese Ruhlman recorded nine kills, Olivia Fike had seven kills and Maddee Miner recorded 33 assists for North Branch, which out-blocked Odessa (54-6) 16-10.

Class C

Bronson defeated Brown City, 23-25, 25-22, 25-11, 25-19, for its second-straight championship.

"This group came in with high expectations,” Bronson coach Jean LaClair said. “They kept pushing and improving every day in practice. Kiera Lasky kept a lot of balls off the floor. She was all over the place."