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No longer a challenger, Romeo strives to repeat as Class A champions

Volleyball   | Jeff Dullack

State Champs! Sports Network

 

 

Romeo – Romeo won its first volleyball state championship last season and the Bulldogs are back looking for similar success.

A team with several returners from the state championship team that needed five sets to outlast Novi in the championship match, including Miss Volleyball candidate Gia Milana, the Bulldogs are motivated to have another stellar season.

Romeo coach Stacy Williams said that her team has lofty goals this fall and said that the key to success is their defense, something they continue to work on throughout the season.

“We have big goals and we want to go after things, but we know that in order to do it, it’s only going to come through hard work,” she said. “We know that defense is our number one goal right now. That’s what we’re working on and we work on it day in and day out and that’s what’s going to be the key to our success this season.”

Among key returners for Romeo this fall are Jodie Kelly, Erica Labaere, Payton Klein and Nicole Nowack as well as a handful of others, including Milana.

But with last year’s success, Romeo finds itself in unfamiliar territory. Instead of chasing its first title, the Bulldogs have a target on their back as the other Class A contenders look to unseat them.

Milana said that after winning the state championship, the 2015 season has a different feel to it, knowing that instead of being the underdog, Romeo is now the favorite that teams are aiming to beat each and every match.

“It’s really different, because it’s usually the other way around and we’re the underdogs,” she said. “This year it’s a struggle in practice for everyone to keep working hard because last year we did win states. But we did win states and now we have to work harder for it because we know teams are going to come back at us. We’re working hard as a team and I’m really proud of my team, because we’re pushing t