BLOOMFIELD HILLS — The Pontiac Notre Dame Prep volleyball team defeated Birmingham Marian in four games Tuesday, but by the end of the match, Fighting Irish coach Betty Wroubel hadn’t quite figured out how her squad had managed it.
Notre Dame Prep was not at its sharpest, particularly on its serves, but still wound up adding a tally to its win column, 25-22, 26-24, 15-25, 25-22.
“We just played very lethargic tonight,” Wroubel said. “It was not a typical Notre Dame Prep performance, but we gutted it out and found a way.
“I think we missed 16 or 17 serves tonight. I’m shocked that we came out with a win missing that many serves. We never got into a rhythm and I don’t know whether that’s something we did or (Marian) did.”
The Mustangs did not go down quietly, forcing the Fighting Irish to regroup during two late timeout calls in the decisive fourth game after a sizable lead shrunk to just two points on several occasions.
“It disappointing the way we played, but we figured it out and that’s a testament to the girls,” Wroubel said.
Notre Dame Prep (28-6-2, 2-2 CHSL Central) took control of the opening set toward the end, surging only after the score was knotted, 17-17.
In the second set, Marian held a 23-21 lead, but squandered its chance to even up at one game aside. The Fighting Irish ran off five of the last six points to take a commanding two games to none lead.
The Mustangs controlled the third set from start to finish, marking the only extended stretch of success exhibited by either squad on the night.
“I think we didn’t serve very aggressively or hit at the net very aggressively,” Wroubel said. “We played very passive and when you do that and you keep giving a team that’s as well coach as Marian the chances, this will happen.”
A pair of freshman were standouts for the Fighting Irish, with Natalie Risi recording 13 kills and 21 digs and Maddy Chinn adding a match-high 21 kills.
The Mustangs played shorthanded Tuesday without the full complement of their players.
MI Prep Zone, September 29, 2015