O'Leary sets stage for Novi's return trip to state volleyball semifinals
Ann Arbor — A day after winning the Miss Volleyball award Michigan-bound setter Erin O'Leary led Novi to a state quarterfinal sweep over Temperance Bedford, 25-10, 25-18, 25-17 Tuesday night.
Novi, which avenged an earlier season loss to Bedford, hasn't lost a set since its last loss to DeWitt Sept. 16.
Novi advances to Battle Creek for the fourth consecutive year and will play a semifinal match Thursday night at Kellogg Arena. Novi will be trying to be the first Class A school to win three straight state championships since Portage Northern won four straight from 1992-95.
O'Leary had 33 assists, setting up outside hitters Abryanna Cannon (Northwestern) and Kathryn Ellison (Kent State).
Cannon had 17 kills, 12 digs and a .317 hitting percentage and terminated the ball at a high rate in the opening set to set the tempo.
Ellison stood out in the second set when she had seven of her 13 kills, including one on a point which lasted close to a minute to open up a 19-17, then getting three more to close out the set.
Cannon and Ellison were out of the lineup with injuries in the first meeting between the teams.
"I was proud of them," said Novi coach Jen Cottrill said. "It was a really good team that was well coached and pushed us to the limit for sure."
Cottrill said Ellison's run late in set 2 was the turning point.
"I think in the middle of that second set we got a little impatient, started making some errors, I think we were getting a little frustrated that they were defending us and making us take multiple swings so I think in that rally was the turning point because we did stay patient, kept defending, kept taking good swings and eventually it worked out for us."
Novi hit .381 as a team.
"It's so easy to set for this team because I have so many options and I can't go wrong," O'Leary said. "It makes us so hard to defend when you have so many attackers who can terminate."
VOLLEYBALL STATE SEMIFINALS
Kellogg Arena, Battle Creek
Class A - Thursday
Farmington Hills Mercy vs Bloomfield Hills Marian, 4:30 pm
DeWitt vs Novi, 6:30 pm
Class B - Friday
Lake Odessa Lakewood vs Livonia Ladywood, 4:30 pm
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep vs Fruitport, 6:30 pm
Class C - Nov. 17
Wixom St. Catherine vs Laingsburg, Noon
Bronson vs Calumet, 2 pm
Class D - Thursday
Munising vs Fowler, Noon
Plymouth Christian vs Rogers City, 2 pm
Class A - 2 pm
Class B - 4 pm
Class C - Noon
Class D -10 am
Farmington Hills Mercy 3, Anchor Bay 1
Bloomfield Hills Marian 3, Midland 0
DeWitt 3, Grand Rapids Christian 0
Novi 3, Temperance Bedford 0
Lake Odessa Lakewood 3, Niles 2
Livonia Ladywood 3, Livonia Clarenceville 0
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 3, Corunna 0
Fruitport 3, Cadillac 1
Wixom St. Catherine 3, Unionville-Sebewaing 0
Laingsburg 3, Shelby 0
Bronson 3, Monroe St. Mary Catholic 1
Calumet 3, Houghton Lake 0
Munising 3, Rudyard 1
Fowler 3, Southfield Christian 0
Plymouth Christian 3, Battle Creek St. Philip 1
Rogers City 3, Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart 2