BATTLE CREEK – The Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart volleyball team is headed to the Div. 4 State Championship game after sweeping Crystal Falls Forest Park in the state semifinals.
The Irish set the tone early on, racing out to a 10-3 lead in the first set. They went on to win the opening frame 25-11.
“We really talked a lot about ‘hey, we’ve been here before,'” said head coach Krista Davis. “We walked in today and we thought ‘oh gosh, this gym doesn’t even look as big as it did last year.'”
The momentum carried over into another dominant second set as the Irish topped the Trojans 25-10 in the set two.
The Trojans settled in and made it difficult on Sacred Heart in the third, but the Irish prevailed 25-22 to complete the sweep and advance to the Div. 4 State Championship.
After the game, Davis gave credit to the team’s outstanding defense in Thursday’s game.
“Our defense was really, really great and my libero, Bridget Ruiz, was an absolute stud,” said Davis. “I mean, she was like 2-3 people out there sometimes, covering the length of the court that 2-3 other players should have covered. That helped disrupt Forest Park’s offense early on and we were able to get them out of system.”
Ruiz led the team with 14 digs in the match.
“We’ve been down so many times this season and we’ve just been able to come back and we haven’t let anything really shake us up too much because we always bounce right back,” added senior Angel Brown. “So I’m really, really proud of this team and I can’t wait to see what we’re going to do on Saturday.”
This is Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart’s second straight trip to the state semifinals but Saturday will be the Irish’s first ever state championship appearance. The Irish had their postseason run end in the semifinals last season against Inland Lakes.
Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart will face Athens in the state championship on Saturday at 10 a.m.