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Goodrich tops Ladywood in four sets, advances to Class B semifinals for first time

Volleyball   | Jeff Dullack

Goodrich tops Ladywood in four sets, advances to Class B semifinals for first time

Clawson – In the first three sets of its Class B quarterfinal against Livonia Ladywood, Goodrich got off to slow starts in each set, but stormed back late to take wins in the first two sets and forced extra points in the third before falling to the Blazers, to take a 2-1 lead into the four set.

But in the fourth set, the Martians got out to a strong start and held off a late push from Ladywood, to earn a win in four sets, 25-23, 25-22, 25-27 and 25-19, as Goodrich now advances to its first semifinal appearance in school history.

In the semifinal, Goodrich will face the state No. 1 ranked team, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard, who swept Lake Odessa Lakewood in its quarterfinal match on Tuesday night.

Goodrich coach Robyn Betterbee said that her team is no stranger to slow starts this year, but credited her players for their ability to battle back all season long.

“The biggest thing for this group of girls is persistence,” she said. “It’s been like that all season long. I’m not sure what it is, they’re kind of slow starters at times, but they make it happen. They persevere and they’re very persistent.”

Holding a 2-1 lead heading into the fourth set of the night, Goodrich raced out to a 14-8 lead to start the fourth set after a block Kristi Doherty.

After Ladywood would battle back to tie the fourth set at 16-16 behind kills from Kayla March and an ace from Haley Moores, Goodrich would close out the match on a 9-3 run, highlighted by kills by Abby Francis and Madison Becker to clinch a 25-19 win.

Doherty said that she felt it was key for her team to get out to a fast start and win the fourth game to prevent Ladywood from taking any kind of momentum going forward in the match.

“That was really important,” she said. “Ladywood would have gained the momentum going into the fifth set.”

Francis finished the match with 19 kills, while Becker finished with 13 kills of her own and Doherty chipped in with eight blocks and 20 assists on the night. Bethany Schultz tallied 10 kills and seven blocks, Kamryn Wallace accounted for 32 assists and Megan Underwood finished with 12 digs as well for Goodrich.

In the first set of the night, Goodrich found itself trailing 19-15 after an ace from Ladywood’s Monique Lamoureux, but the Martians scored seven out of the next 11 points to cut the deficit down to 23-22. Then, a kill from Francis, followed by an ace by Schultz would help Goodrich take the lead and the first set, 25-22.

Becker echoed her coach, saying that slow starts are nothing new to the Martians this season, but much like how the first set went, Goodrich has also had a reputation for battling back.

“It’s been a recurring theme for this team throughout the season,” she said. “We’ve started slow for some reason and sometimes we just like to make things hard on ourselves, but we end up coming out strong in the end and it’s been working out.”

After Goodrich would use another come-from-behind effort to win the second set, Ladywood again got out to a strong start in the third set, sprinting out to a 9-3 lead after a kill by Moores.

But later in the set, Goodrich would battle back to eventually to force a 24-24 tie after two blocks from Doherty and another from Schultz. Ladywood would manage to bounce back to win the third set, 27-25, after a kill by March.

Goodrich will face Gabriel Richard at 5:30 on Friday in Battle Creek at Kellogg Arena.