Girls Varsity Volleyball
Game Summaries & Headlines.
By Jim Lahde, The Morning Sun
In 2014 they went 29-22-3 overall and advanced to the Class D quarterfinal round where they fell to Leland.
In 2015 they went 37-15-3 overall and advanced to the quarterfinal round once again and fell to Leland.
Then, in 2016, the Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart Academy volleyball team went 34-15-4 overall and, you guessed it, advanced to the quarterfinal round where the Irish fell to Leland.
Over the course of the last three seasons no mid-Michigan volleyball team has come close to attaining the kind of success that the Irish have, thus when SHA head coach Krista Davis said her 2017 squad might be the best of this group it grabs your attention.
“We’re stronger and more close-knit than ever,” said Davis, who has led the Irish to three conference, district and regional titles in her first three seasons at the helm while compiling a record of 109-52-15. “I think this will be one of our most dynamic teams and I am very optimistic about this season.”
On paper the Irish only bring nine players into the fold in 2017, yet what a nine it is.
Leading the charge are 2016 Class D honorable mention All-Staters Sophie Ruggles (491 kills, 134 blocks, 218 digs, 52 aces, .397 hitting percentage) and Grace Reetz (193 kills, 534 digs, 57 aces, 12 blocks). Add to the mix the likes of returners Erika Cudjoe, Maggie Jonker, Natalia Krepostman and Michele Hubbard and the Irish have the makings of what could be a great team this fall.
To date the Irish have gone 9-1-1 and won a pair of tournament invites at Bath and at their own invite on Saturday. Sacred Heart’s early season success has been such that it’s even caught the coach a bit off guard.
“Early in the season you’re usually trying to figure some things out but that’s not the case with this team,” said Davis, who also brought up sophomores Lauren Rookard and Molly Yonker as well as freshman Allison Hauck. “I’ve never been so positive at this point in the season before. This team has great chemistry and they’re all great kids who enjoy competing together.”
From the outside looking in the Irish will probably be one of the biggest teams in Class D as Ruggles is an outstanding hitter who could go on to play at the next level. Hubbard, who stands in at 6-foot-2, will also be a force to be reckoned with in the middle. Cudjoe and Reetz are also proven hitters which gives the Irish multiple options to turn to.
In terms of goals for the season, well, the Irish have a few but they’re not really talking about them as of now.
“No one has mentioned winning titles or anything like that. We’re more concerned with team-oriented goals right now,” said Davis.