Battle Creek — Move over Battle Creek St. Philip and Leland, there’s another power in Class D in Plymouth Christian.
Plymouth Christian is quickly building a dynasty, sweeping No. 6 Fowler (25-18, 25-23, 25-21) Saturday morning at Kellogg Arena to repeat as state champions.
St. Philip (10) and Leland (two) had won the previous 12 state championships in Class D … before Plymouth Christian’s run to the top.
And, senior outside hitter Grace Kellogg made sure Plymouth Christian — ranked No. 1 with a 44-8-3 record — would bring home the ultimate trophy for the second straight year.
She had 15 kills, 17 digs and a .302 hitting percentage, making sure her team would keep the momentum with a tip kill to end the second set.
“It was really big, like I could feel the pressure starting to build up at the end because they were starting to get excited and they could have had that game,” said Kellogg of her critical tip.
Plymouth Christian third-year coach D.J. Kellogg agreed.
“From a coaching perspective it was a big pressure reliever,” D.J. Kellogg said. “They had the momentum and it left a little air out of the balloon.”
Still, Plymouth Christian had to come back from an 8-2 deficit in the third set to earn the sweep.
Sophomore Gabriella Kellogg, Grace’s younger sister, also had 15 kills, along with a team-high 18 digs and a .262 hitting percentage. Madison Raymond had 13 digs and setter Abigail Pray, 31 assists.
“It’s been a lot of fun this year,” said D.J. Kellogg, who enjoyed the team’s success with daughters, Grace and Gabriella. “I didn’t know what to expect after losing eight seniors from last year since we and had a whole new team to play with and figure out.
“After we won it last year I got a better feel for what I felt it would take. We talked about it at the beginning of the season and they responded. They worked tirelessly to get better and then the byproduct is this.”
Marissa Snyder had 11 kills, Sidney Horak 23 digs and Kennedy Koenigsknecht, 25 assists for Fowler (38-11-5), which was making its first state championship match appearance.