The Rockford varsity volleyball team, along with their coaches, celebrate their MHSAA D1 District 12 Championship.
By Jeannie Gregory
LOWELL – The Michigan High School Athletic Association’s D1 District 12 Volleyball Tournament was claimed by the Rockford Rams, Thursday, Nov. 1. The Rams had their work cut out for them heading into the match against the No. 4 Lowell Red Arrows, with Rockford ranked No. 7. But, obviously the Rams didn’t buy all the hype and claimed the match in the best-of-three series and gave their loyal fans edge-of-the seat excitement.
The Rams came out a bit bewildered in the first set, and fell by a 22-25 score. The set was a wakeup call for the Rams, and they came back blazing in the second stanza rolling to a 25-14 score. The third was much like the first, with the Rams struggling to find their rhythm early on, but made it a game before dropping the set 22-25. Rockford had to have the fourth set or face elimination, and win they did, claiming the fourth set 25-21 to move the competition to a fifth set. The Rams showed they were ready for the fight, claiming the final set by a 15-3 domination of Lowell to claim the district championship.
“I loved the fight I saw in my team last night,” shared head coach Kelly Delacher. “They had a rough start in the first and third sets and they fought back from being down 10 points in each to giving us a chance to win at the end. Then down 2-1 in the fourth set they showed a lot of heart to push it to a fifth game and then played a nearly flawless fifth set.”
Rockford’s Lindsay Talyor had an amazing match all-around on both sides of the ball. Taylor racked up 24 kills, 1 ace, 16 digs, and 2 blocks. Emmy Webb also made a huge statement, tallying 20 kills, 2 aces, and 4 blocks. Madelyn Long helped the Rams’ cause on defense with 12 digs, and added in 2 aces. Setter Emilee Karelse paced the Rams with 45 assists, 1 ace, and 2 blocks.
“It was an awesome night and will hopefully give us some confidence going into a tough regional next week,” continued Delacher. “Lindsay and Emmy were unbelievable offensively for us, with 44 kills between them and Emilee Karelse did a great job of getting the ball to them.”
The Rams will now enter regional competition, taking on the winner of District 10 Jenison/Hudsonville match. The MHSAA Regional 3 semifinals are slated to take place at Grand Haven, Tuesday, Nov. 6. The first game is scheduled for 5 p.m., and Rockford will play their opponent at 7 p.m.