Troy Volleyball Team Advances To Regional Finals
The Colts sweep Southfield in three sets at Lake Orion on Tuesday to advance to the finals for first time since 2008.
LAKE ORION – The Troy High School volleyball team didn’t need its best effort to advance past Southfield in the Class A regional semifinals on Tuesday.
At Lake Orion, the Colts breezed past the Bluejays in a three-set sweep (25-16, 25-12, 25-16). Troy never trailed in the match, but didn’t execute as sharply as head coach Ed Ruhl would’ve liked.
“We definitely did not keep the level of intensity up,” Ruhl said. “I don’t think anyone particular played great or anybody played that bad.”
The Colts used its significant height advantage to control the game at the net. Southfield didn’t have a single athlete over 5-foot-10 while Troy rotated five girls 5-foot-11 or taller into the game.
Nicole Hahn, a 6-foot-1 junior, and Michelle Stuecheli, a 6-foot senior, in particular had a lot of success up front. Stuecheli led the team with eight kills and Hahn had six.
“They played really well offensively,” Southfield Bluejays head coach Dana Cooper said. “We didn’t get nearly as many chances on offense because of that. We are used to getting more chances, and that’s what makes us an effective team. I knew that they were going to come out swinging.”
Troy (29-14) was able to put together 5-0 runs early in all three sets. The problem Ruhl had with the Colts' performance was that they let Southfield hang around for most of the match.
The Bluejays weren’t playing very good defense and at times Ruhl’s team didn’t capitalize enough.
He wanted to see one of his lineups put together a more extended run. When they didn’t, he started making a lot more lineup changes to try to find a hot hand.
“I just started shuffling, making everybody and I got all 15 in,” Ruhl said. “When I saw it wasn’t going to work the way I wanted it to work we decided to get everybody in.”
In the regional finals, the Colts will play Lake Orion, on Thursday night. The Dragons knocked off Marian, the defending Class A champions, in four sets on Tuesday.
Ruhl said he was hoping to have already decided on a starting lineup for Thursday’s game, but with no one really stepping up in the semifinals he will wait to see what happens at practice on Wednesday.
“It will be interesting to see who steps tomorrow,” Ruhl said. “Whoever brings it tomorrow is going to be the top group. We have three different lineups and I was supposed to make my decision today, but there’s no decision to be made there.”