From staff reports
EVART — Leland rallied from a 20-14 deficit in the fourth game to beat Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart 25-18, 21-25, 25-19, 28-26 in a Class D volleyball quarterfinal here Tuesday night.
The Comets (33-14-7) will now play Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes at 2 p.m. Thursday in a semifinal in Battle Creek. It will be Leland’s first Final Four appearance since 2006.
Leland advanced in exciting fashion after trailing most of the fourth game.
“We started to get tight,” Leland coach Laurie Glass said. “I told the girls, ‘Hey, remember, we’re up 2-1. We’re not fighting for our lives here. We’re OK.’
“I said, ‘Don’t pay attention to the score. Focus on one ball at a time, one point at a time.’”
The Comets started their comeback behind the serving of Caitlin McKee. They eventually tied it at 22-22, but then had to withstand a couple game-point opportunities for Sacred Heart.
“We didn’t show any fear,” Glass said. “We didn’t back down. It was very, very exciting.”
Leland came out strong in winning game one.
“We were swinging light outs,” Glass said. “That’s probably as well as we’ve swung offensively (all season). We weren’t serving well, but whatever we hit was golden.”
Sacred Heart, which finished 49-12-5, adjusted its blocking scheme in game two to knot the match.
Leland then adjusted to Sacred Heart’s strategy to claim game three.
Noa Yaakoby led the Comets with 23 kills, three aces and 16 digs. Maddie Trumbull came up with 25 kills. Whitney Schaub contributed two aces and 25 digs while McKee finished with four aces, 53 assists and 10 digs.
Eva Grobbel, added four kills and three blocks — one of her solo blocks coming at crunch time in the fourth game.
“Our two sophomores (Trumbull and Grobbel), playing in a big match, did a nice job,” Glass said.