Before a loud gymnasium filled with Huron and Cardinal supporters, Rogers City came up with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-19) win over Onaway in district play. The semifinals pitted the familiar foes that last met at the county championships last week.
The teams squared off in a classic match last year at the Hillman districts with the Hurons coming away with a 3-2 win.
In the Wolverine district Thursday, the two teams were evenly matched and had some long exchanges in an evening which had several momentum swings.
The first swing came in the first set with Onaway
leading 17-12. A kill by Huron middle hitter Taylor Fleming sent Hannah Dittmar to the service line. Dittmar’s serve baffled the Cards and when Onaway finally regained the serve, Rogers City led 23-18.
Dittmar’s kill and an ace from Erika Peacock helped the Hurons to a 4-0 lead to begin set two. Then Onaway, with its characteristic scrappy defense, came back to make it
8-7 aided by two kills by Alison LaFave off sets from Taylor Ehrke.
Ehrke’s quick tip down the left sideline tied the score at 14-14. An ace by Mary Brege gave Rogers City an 18-16 lead before a net fault gave Onaway a point. Then two blasts from Kayla Rabeau, off sets from Hannah Fleming, and an ace from Saige Wagner, gave the Hurons a 22-16 lead.
Onaway challenged the Huron lead with kills from Jaclyn Nash and Maddie McLean to make the score 23-20. Then, with the score 24-22 after two straight Cardinal points, Rogers City coach Jackie Quaine called a timeout. That stopped the Cardinal momentum as Taylor Fleming blasted a cross-court winner to give the Hurons a 25-22 win.
Now with momentum on their side after two hard-fought wins, the Hurons burst out to a 5-0 lead. Onaway came within one point five times in the set, but never led as the Hurons held them back each time.
Rogers City now moves on to the district finals tonight (Friday, Nov. 4) at Wolverine against Hillman.
Posen lost 3-0 (25-13, 25-13, 25-11) in the first of two matches Thursday at Wolverine. The Vikings had trouble getting started in their match. They fell behind 9-6 in the first set but came back to pull within one point at 11-10. Then a Hillman run closed the first set with a 25-13 loss for Posen. Cami LaTulip’s block netted the first point for Posen in the second set, but then Hillman used two runs to burst out to a 17-3. Hillman went out to a 6-0 lead in the third set then led 12-4 before Posen scored two points. From then it was all Hillman as they built a 24-7 lead before Posen had a 4-0 rally to make the final score 25-11.
The winner of the Wolverine district advances to the Rudyard regional Tuesday to play DeTour, which defeated Cedarville in its own district finals Thursday.