FARMINGTON — Though in defeat, Farmington Hills Mercy volleyball coach Loretta Vogel was satisfied Nov. 14 at Farmington High.
The Marlins had just lost in five games to Livonia Stevenson in a Class A regional final.
“I said to the girls when we were in the hall, I was just happy. They made every adjustment we asked. We threw everything at them except me over the net,” she said with a smile.
Stevenson won the first game 25-20 before Mercy battled back to take game two 25-22. In that frame, the Marlins dominated much of the way, building a 20-13 lead, before the Spartans made a comeback.
Mercy again won in game three, 25-14, jumping out to a quick 10-point lead and maintaining that cushion most of the way.
In game four, the Marlins had their chances to close out the match with two game points that Stevenson was able to fight off to win 28-26.
In game five, the Spartans started on a 5-0 run and never looked back.
Vogel said the loss in game four had nothing to do with game five; it was just a battle of two evenly matched teams.
“(We’re) used to (game fives). We still knew what we wanted to do,” she said. “(Stevenson was) just finding the holes and getting great touches off of us on the block.”
Vogel also commended the play of both teams.
“People had to put the ball in the hole where someone wasn’t. There weren’t many where someone dug in and the ball went off, so it shows how hard both teams were really trying to play,” she said.
Mercy ends the year 45-16-2 overall.
In a sense, it was a tale of two seasons for the Marlins. The coach said the team struggled early on trying to find an offense that worked best for them.
At first, Mercy tried a quicker attack at the net, but eventually found it best to take a more methodic approach and let the hitters find the open space.
The Marlins didn’t have a very tall team, so they instead relied on their scrappiness.
“We have all these parts to just get to you. As we say, ‘It’s like sand in your bathing suit or a pebble in your shoe,’” Vogel said. “I couldn’t ask for more from any of them.”