No. 1 Leland Falls to No. 2 Mendon in Division 4 State Final
BATTLE CREEK – Leland’s quest for a sixth volleyball state championship came to an end Saturday morning with a loss to Mendon.
Appearing in its 12th state title match and first since winning the 2015 Class D championship, top-ranked Leland fell in straight sets (16-25, 21-25, 14-25) to second-ranked Mendon in the MHSAA Division 4 state final at Battle Creek’s Kellogg Arena.
The title is Mendon’s fourth and first since winning the 2001 Class D championship while Leland’s runner-up finish is the program’s seventh.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the effort that we showed today, I’d like to play them again, tomorrow, that would be nice,” Leland coach Laurie Glass said. “We lost to the better team today. If we played our best and they played their best, I think the scores might be different. I don’t think we played our best, I didn’t think we were horrible, but I just thought Mendon played better than us.”
The Comets opened the match with a 7-4 lead but fell behind quickly following a Mendon timeout and trailed 17-11 midway through the opening set before dropping their first set of the postseason.
After going back and forth in the early goings of the second set, Leland began to pull away and took a 14-11 lead at the midway point. A Mendon (48-6-3) timeout swung the momentum back in the favor of the Hornets as they secured their first lead since the early going with a 19-18 lead and never looked back.
Allie Martin led the Leland attack with 13 kills while Hannah Elwell tallied seven kills. Ella Siddall got the offense started with 30 assists and led the way defensively with nine digs.
Anna Smith paced Mendon with a match-high 18 kills for a Hornet attack that posted a .392 attack percentage.
The Comets graduate seven seniors as Martin, Siddall, Hannah Elwell, Margie Stowe, Talia Yaakoby, Mattie Burda and Maddie Grosvenor closed out their prep careers on Saturday.
Leland closes out its 2018 campaign at 47-11-1.