State title bid ends at seminfinals

4716-finallfourby Peter Jakey—Managing Editor

Rogers City’s bid for a Class D state title came to an end Friday at the Kellogg Center in downtown Battle Creek.

High-flying Kayla Rabeau skies on an attack in the Class D semifinal match.
High-flying Kayla Rabeau skies on an attack in the Class D semifinal match.

The Lady Hurons were riding a great wave of momentum and had tremendous fan support under the bright lights at the home of the state finals, but it was not enough to get by a sound Oakland Christian Lancers team, who won the match three games to one.4716-anthem

The Hurons would not back down in game one after trailing, 12-17. They battled back to take it, 25-23, and looked relaxed and ready to keep it going in game two. However, the girls struggled in the second, scoring only four points in the loss. The Lancers scored 13 straight to close it out.

Taylor Fleming slams home one of her eight kills in the match. (Photos by Richard Lamb)
Taylor Fleming slams home one of her eight kills in the match. (Photos by Richard Lamb)

With both squads putting wins in their pockets, the third game would be crucial. For the first time, the Hurons got off to a hot start, jumping out 3-0, but the Lancers kept playing fundamentally sound and built a solid lead to take No.3, 25-16.

Hannah Fleming and Kayla Rabeau combine to form a blocking wall in Friday's Class D semifinal match.
Hannah Fleming and Kayla Rabeau combine to form a blocking wall in Friday’s Class D semifinal match.

The Hurons could not find that breakthrough moment to get any kind of rythmn or momentum going and lost the fourth, 25-14.

Parents, family and friends stood and applauded as the 2016 Hurons left the court one last time.

It was Rogers City’s first final four appearance since 2003.

“I am so proud of these girls. This is where you want to be,” said Huron coach Jackie Quaine, taking her first team to state in nine years of coaching the varsity. “We play in our little neck of the woods and it is not just like this. We had a chance to compete for the title, yet they see why you need to work in the off season.”

Oakland Christian (43-4-5) advanced to Saturday’s state title game to play Plymouth Christian, who defeated Leland in four. Rogers City finishes with a 35-11-1 record.

(More in the next edition of the Advance)