Lady Cardinals bound for Battle Creek

by Angie Asam – Staff Writer

The 2012 Onaway Lady Cardinals volleyball team continues their historic season Friday when they make their first-ever appearance in the Class D state semifinals. The team won its first-ever regional title last Thursday by defeating Rudyard. Tuesday they traveled to Manistique to play in their first-ever state quarterfinal match dominating Crystal Falls Forest Park in three games to sweep the match and solidify their place in the top four teams in the state.

School has been canceled Friday so the seventh man if you would, the “Ozone,” the large cheering section that has been following the Cards can make their voice heard at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek for the semifinal match. 

SARA FULLERTON looks to direct this ball away from the Crystal Falls Forest Park blocker in Tuesday’s quarterfinal game with the “Ozone” crowd behind her and her teammates protecting against the block. The Cardinals came into the match pumped up and ready to work hard until the final whistle as they dominated and will make their first trip to the state semifinals today (Friday). For more on the Lady Cards see the story on page 4. (Photo by Angie Asam)

The Cardinals will take on No. 1 ranked Battle Creek St. Philip (72-2-1), a team who enters the semifinals looking to win its seventh consecutive state title. The Cardinals, as anyone who has watched them this season well knows, will not shy away. The home town team too has been ranked all season and is currently ranked No. 5. 

With scrappy defense, a never say die attitude, great team communication and riding a wave of tremendous momentum the Cardinals will head into the match ready to compete. There is an old cliché in sports, “on any given day, any given team can beat any other given team.” After all it is the state semifinals and previous accomplishments fade into the distance as it becomes one match for survival and a spot in the state semifinals.

The Cardinals have already accomplished some major goals this season, and they are not ready for it to be over. A large contingent of Cardinal fans made the trek to Manistique Tuesday and cheered their team the entire way, many will make the trip to Battle Creek as well encouraging and supporting their team. 

Coach Steve Watson and assistant Kristy Bristley will have their team ready to go. Captains Emily Estep, Megan Estep and Mariah Ehrke will lead the team of 15 talented and spirited young ladies into battle. One thing is for sure, they will not quit until the match is final. Win or lose, the Cardinals have accomplished much this season.