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GIRLS VOLLEYBALL: Lake Orion Baptist to play for first MACS state title

| November 1, 2013 | Comments (0)

 

NOTE: Have photos or video of this event you would like to share with digital daily www.northoaklandsports.com?Email pertinent information to results@northoaklandsports.com or to Senior Editor Dan Stickradt at Dan.Stickradt@northoaklandsports.com

 

FOR MORE VOLLEYBALL COVERAGE: http://northoaklandsports.com/?s=Volleyball&x=0&y=9

 

BY DAN STICKRADT

SENIOR EDITOR

dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com

Twitter: @LocalSportsFans

 

LAKE ORION — Throughout its first 11 school years, Lake Orion Baptist has enjoyed plenty of success in the Michigan Association of Christian Schools circles.

The Lions have amassed 10 state runner-up teams through four sports — boys soccer, girls basketball, baseball and boys basketball — without the benefit of finishing on top.

That elusive state title is a strong possibility for Lake Orion Baptist’s girls volleyball team this year. The Lions, ranked No., in the state in MACS Division I, will face third-ranked Kinross Maplewood Baptist at 11 a.m. Saturday at Clarkston Springfield Christian for the state title.

“We have come close before in a lot of sports,” said first-year coach Cole Welby, a 2007 graduate of the school. “I think we have a great chance this year. But we are going in blind. We don’t know much about Maplewood.”

Maplewood Baptist is located over the Mackinac Bridge, some 25 miles north of St. Ignace in the Upper Peninsula. The Black Bears play in the Northern Lights League and rarely face other schools in the MACS until the postseason.

Maplewood Baptist has won the MACS Division II girls basketball titles the past two years and competes in volleyball with essentially the same athletes.

“It’s almost like a true championship game because they are way up there and we are down here (in Metro Detroit),” added Welby. “We have never seen them. The only scores we know are who they beat in the tournament.”

The Lions upended Pittsford Freedom Christian, 3-1, in the state semifinals Friday to advance to the title match. Freedom Christian had won 12 state titles in the past 30 years before being ousted.

Lake Orion Baptist dropped the first game, 25-20, before rallying for three straight wins, 25-18, 25-18 and 25-19.

Lake Orion Baptist, which won only its second Fundamental Baptist Athletic Conference league title this autumn, also swept Bridgeport Baptist, 3-0, in the state quarterfinals last week.

“We did a great job coming back on (Freedom Christian),” said Welby. “I think that’s us having four good seniors, a lot of experience. We weren’t rattled.”

With only nine players on its varsity roster this season, the Lions have been led all season by those four seniors — 6-foot-3 middle blocker Breanne Watterworth, 5-7 outside hitter Abigail Brennan, 5-8 outside hitter Noelle Streetman and 5-6 libero Kelsey McDonald.

Watterworth, a college basketball recruit, has improved immensely at the net, while Brennan is a three-sport standout who plays all over the court. McDonald and Streetman have provided stability from their positions. The other five players are juniors and sophomores, with 5-10 junior Ashleigh Cameron providing additional size at the net.

Lake Orion Baptist has recorded a fine 24-1-0 record this season, with its sole loss coming the final week of the regular season against Burton Genesee Christian, 3-2. This is by far the best win percentage in school history.

“I think that took some pressure off. We lost the last game of the regular season to Genesee Christian. It gave us a chance to keep our focus,” said Welby. “Overall this has definitely been our best season.”

With the unbeaten season now out of the question, Lake Orion Baptist has one chance to finally gain some postseason glory and claim its first state title in any sport.

“I know we can do it. We have to go out and play our game and not make mistakes,” added Welby. “We have the talent and the size to win it.”

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FOR MORE VOLLEYBALL COVERAGE: http://northoaklandsports.com/?s=Volleyball&x=0&y=9

Have photos or video of this event that you wish to share? E-mail pertinent information to www.northoaklandsports.com Senior Editor Dan Stickradt at dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com or e-mail results@northoaklandsports.com.

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Category: Featured Articles, High School, High School (M-Z), Lake Orion Baptist, Lake Orion Shalom Baptist, Most Recently Updated Stories, Prep Wraps, Sport, Top Stories, Uncategorized, Volleyball

About Dan Stickradt: DAN STICKRADT | SENIOR EDITOR dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com View author profile.

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