Romeo volleyball bests Harrison Township L'Anse Creuse to capture regional title
STERLING HEIGHTS — Romeo High volleyball coach Stacy Williams said Nov. 14 that she and her team have an idea about when their season will end.
"Nov. 23 in the state finals," Williams said.
That dream can still come true after the Bulldogs downed Harrison Township L'Anse Creuse 3-0 in a 2013 Michigan High School Athletic Association Class A regional final played Nov. 14 at Sterling Heights Stevenson.
Romeo (44-7-4) advances to take on Bloomfield Hills Marian in a Class A state quarterfinal, set for 7 p.m. Nov. 19 at Anchor Bay. The winner of that battle will move on to the state semifinals, set for Nov. 21 at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek. The state finals take place Nov. 23 at Kellogg Arena.
The Bulldogs, who knocked off defending MHSAA Class A state champ Macomb Dakota 3-2 Nov. 12 to get to the regional final, controlled the Nov. 14 match. Romeo led for all but four points in the three-game match. Game one was tied at five before the Bulldogs took over, going on a 10-1 run to take a 15-6 lead before taking the first stanza 25-14.
Romeo led game two from start to finish, winning 25-18. The Bulldogs built as much as a seven-point lead in the second game.
The last frame saw four lead changes and nine ties early. Romeo took a 10-9 lead over the Lancers (30-16-2) and went on to win the game 25-18.
"We have a very strong offensive game, and when our defense is there, then we have the priviledge of running that offensive game and our defense did a great job tonight," said Williams, who led the Romeo program its first regional title since 1997. "Not just our passing defense, but our blocking defense. They were strong at the net tonight."
L'Anse Creuse coach Derek Ledwidge, who in his first year, guided the team to a share of the Macomb Area Conference Red Division title (with Dakota) and a second straight Class A district title, said his team played its best. He said Romeo was just better in the end.
Ledwidge said the Bulldogs don't make many mistakes.
"Our girls played the best game they could, but we just made more errors," Ledwidge said. "I'm beyond happy with the girls. They went 0-10 (in the MAC Red) last season. For them to completely turn it around is special."
The victory over L'Anse Creuse gave Romeo, which won the MAC White, wins over the champions of the MAC Red. Williams said that shows that teams from the MAC White can compete with squads in higher divisions. She also said her Bulldogs will move to the Red next season.
Williams said she understands how big the win over Dakota was, but added that her team had no designs on looking past the Lancers.
"I wasn't worried about a letdown. Our girls were focused. They're driven right now," Williams said.