GIRLS VOLLEYBALL: Eisenhower delivers sharp dagger in district sweep of Rochester

| November 4, 2016 | Comments (1)



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ROCHESTER HILLS — With a potential district rematch with Rochester Stoney Creek looming, Utica Eisenhower did not want to get caught looking ahead, especially considering the Eagles had to defeat a league champion to earn a date in the district finals.

No worries for Ike coach Caitlin LaPratt.

The Eagles looked everything like a top 10 team in the state and a squad that reached the Class A regional finals last season by their stellar play Thursday night against OAA Blue Division champion Rochester. It took Eisenhower just 1 hour, 5 minutes to post a 25-14, 25-17, 25-8 sweep of Rochester, which earned a date with district host Rochester Stoney Creek Friday night at 7 p.m.

“We watched Rochester play the other night (against Utica) and they looked very good,” admitted LaPratt. “Of course in our minds we were looking forward to playing Stoney Creek again, but we didn’t want to look past Rochester. They are athletic. I thought we played very well against them.”

Eisenhower’s defense against the Falcons (32-15-1) was sterling and the Eagles frustrated Rochester most of the match.

“We have a couple go-to hitters, but if they were to have an off night we have a lot of variety in our offense – we have other people we can go to,” offered LaPratt. “I would say defense has been our strongest point all season. We’re a strong serving team and the girls are playing really well

Hailey Barden and Kathryn Ciraulo both slammed 11 kills, Luciana Arena added 10 kills and Marissa Durand hit nine kills to lead a balanced attack for Eisenhower, which improved to 41-9-2. Payton Kennedy added 38 assists and Mikella Vanlith had 15 digs and Sarah Wojcik followed with 14 digs for the Eagles.

01NO16 Rochester v Utica Girls Varsity D1 District Volleyball

Courtesy Photo by Ken Swart

Rochester coach Lauren Duquette was pleased with her team’s level of play this season, but knew the realities that her team would have to rise up and defeat two top 20 teams with a ton of firepower to win a district.

“(Eisenhower) is a very good team at least and if you’re going to lose you want to lose to a ranked team,” offered Duquette. “I was hoping maybe it was going to be more competitive. I thought we stood a chance, but we just played tight.

“I am happy with the season with a whole,” she continued. “We won a tournament and finished second in two others and we haven;t done that in a few years. I think we got lot better as the season went along. We’re just in a tough district and it’s really difficult to win a (district) championship.”

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