by Richard Lamb—Advance Editor
Rogers City did what only one other team could do to Class D state volleyball champions Plymouth Christian. That is to take a set from them. Coach Jackie Quaine’s team made its second- straight appearance at the final four, but came away wanting more. The Lady Hurons fell to the state champions in the semifinals last Thursday (24-26, 15-25, 25-22, 21-25) to end a magical season.
“Today we were a little out-matched. They have some good jumpers over there,” said coach Quaine.
“We’ve been able to go a long way with our two big hitters, but today it was very hard because they knew where we were coming from and they ran all the way across the net. And they are very balanced,” she said.
Quaine said the coach and the team handled the excitement of the final four better the second time around.
“The girls were a little more relaxed. But we knew it was going to be a tough game, because Plymouth Christian was ranked No. 1 for a reason. Every time you move up the ladder it is going to get tougher,” Quaine said.
The team jelled as the season went on, Quaine said, making for another great tournament run.
“We just did not have the chemistry to start. The girls were not really talking. To get them from that point to this point to where they are finally talking in the middle of the season and you make some changes in positions, to come here to the state semifinals is unbelievable,” Quaine said.
The team will graduate only two seniors, co-captains Kayla Rabeau and Hannah Fleming. Each were major contributors to the success of the two final-four teams.
Rabeau capped an outstanding four-year varsity-run with three regional championships, two final-four appearances and 13 kills on 41 attacks in the semifinal match. She led the team with 20 digs. Hannah Fleming had eight digs in the semifinal match and key serves in the tournament run.
“They are leaders both on an off the court. Kayla comes in here and she has just been a great all-around player. Hannah is very unselfish. She turned into a defensive specialist and she came out and owned the position. She leads by her example. She is in it 110 percent. To have leaders like that at the top just makes my job easier,” Quaine said.
Taylor Fleming had 17 kills on 45 attacks and eight digs along with three ace serves. Hance had 15 digs while Hincka had two kills on 10 attacks. Brege had 31 assists and Altman added three kills on 14 attacks and had two ace serves.
The team ended with a record of 38-9-3 making Quaine’s coaching record 337-111-38 in 10 seasons.
Other state champions included Novi, a three-set winner over Bloomfield Hills Marian (25-23, 25-9, 25-23) in Class A; Pontiac Notre Dame who defeated Lake Odessa Lakewood (25-16, 25-17, 28-26) in Class B and Bronson in Class C who defeated Laingsburg (20-25, 25-19, 25-20, 25-19).
(The complete story and a photo page is in the Nov. 23, 2017 issue of the Advance)