Leland Preps for No. 1 Plymouth Christian
LELAND – For the fourth straight season, the Leland volleyball program will call Battle Creek home the weekend before Thanksgiving as it prepares to defend its Class D state championship.
The No. 3 Comets will face a top-ranked Plymouth Christian team Friday in a semifinal at Kellogg Arena. Plymouth Christian finished runner-up to Battle Creek St. Philip in 2010 and made the semifinals in 2015.
"I would say that we’re the underdogs coming into this match,” Leland coach Laurie Glass said. “I think that our ability to stay together, and just focus on one point at a time, is something that we bring into the match."
"We like playing tough teams, because it’s fun to play when other teams come, and… it makes us better,” added Leland senior Taylor Stinson.
Leland earned its fourth straight trip to Battle Creek with wins over Suttons Bay, Northport and Traverse City Christian in the district round and with victories against Bellaire and No. 9 Forest Area in regionals. Leland’s 3-1 win over Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart in Tuesday’s quarterfinal gave Glass her 1,000th career win.
"We don’t have the trophy yet,” Leland senior Julie Bardenhagen said. “We’re trying to get it the same as Plymouth Christian is, the same as Rogers City is, whoever’s left in the final four. No added extra pressure. We don’t owe anything to last year’s team."
The winner of Friday’s match will face either No. 6 Auburn Hills Oakland Christian or Rogers City at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Friday’s semifinal is set for a 3:45 p.m. start.