Leland volleyball dethrones BC St. Philip for Class D state title

BATTLE CREEK – For the first time in nearly a decade, a new volleyball champion was crowned in Class D Saturday morning.

Facing perennial state power and reigning state champion Battle Creek St. Philip, Leland avenged last year’s 3-1 loss in the finals by sweeping the Tigers in straight sets (25-20, 25-23, 25-23) at Battle Creek’s Kellogg Arena, dethroning nine-time defending titlist St. Philip.

The win marks the first state championship for Leland since 2006, which also came against St. Philip, and is the school’s fifth title and third under coach Laurie Glass.

“I’m just so proud of this program and of the coaching staff for getting these girls prepared for this,” Glass said.

Holding a comfortable 21-16 lead in the third set, Leland found itself trailing 22-21 after a late St. Philip rally. The Comets would regain the lead, though, three points later and hold on for the win.

St. Philip grabbed a 4-0 lead in the opening set before the Leland rallied with five consecutive points to take a 5-4 lead.

The Comets (48-7-2) would finally shake the Tigers with a late 6-1 run to take a 20-17 lead and would claim five of the final eight points for the win.

Leland needed another rally in the second set, trailing late, 20-16, before responding with a 9-3 run.

Senior outside hitter Maddie Trumbull paced the Comet attack with a 14 kills, while freshman Allie Martin and senior ViAnna Hennig combined for 12 kills.

Freshman Ella Siddall had the offense rolling with 30 assists.