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VOLLEYBALL: Dakota falls to L'Anse Creuse

Lancers get past Cougars in four games

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The stuff of headlines in 2011:

Apple CEO and company founder Steve Jobs died; Prince William and Kate Middleton got married and powerful Dakota lost a Macomb Area Conference Red Division match.

The stuff of a headline in 2013:

Dakota, the defending Class A state champion, lost its first MAC Red Division volleyball match since 2011.

That occurred Tuesday night, when L’Anse Creuse prevailed in four games, 22-25, 26-24, 25-21, 29-27.

“It feels very, very good,” said L’Anse Creuse coach Derek Ledwidge. “The girls were definitely amped to play tonight. In the first game I think we got down by five points because the players were overly excited. I had to tell them to calm down. At the end of the match, the intensity worked in our favor.”

With the victory, L’Anse Creuse and Dakota share the lead in the MAC Red with identical 7-1 records. L’Anse Creuse is 25-6 overall.

This is Ledwidge’s first year at L’Anse Creuse. He was hired on the second day of tryouts.

“I imagine it’s been quite a few years since L’Anse Creuse beat Dakota,” said Ledwidge. “Carli’s been on the team four years, right?”

The L’Anse Creuse coach was referring to Carli Snyder, a four-year varsity player and an All-State performer for the Dakota Cougars. Snyder has accepted a scholarship to play collegiately at the University of Florida.

Snyder was not in the Dakota lineup Tuesday after suffering an ankle injury in the Beast of the East tournament Saturday.

“Carli sprained her ankle and started physical therapy today,” said Tracie Ferguson, the Dakota coach. “She should be back for districts.”

L’Anse Creuse’s Leah Rose had four aces, 17 kills, two blocks and 14 digs against Dakota. Samantha Deleeuw finished with 23 digs; Samantha Pickett had 16 digs and 44 assists; while Natalie Courtright had two aces, 14 kills, three blocks and five digs.

Among those playing well for Dakota during the L’Anse Creuse match were setter Megan Manierski, outside hitter Alyssa Scalici, freshman Mackenzie Kepler and Natalie Janes.

“We knew it was going to be a tough match against L’Anse Creuse,” said Ferguson. “They have a really nice libero and the first time we played them, their setter was out with a concussion. Their outside hitters played really well tonight against us.

“The match was back and forth. We had to work with a couple of different lineups,” continued the Dakota coach. Carli got hurt on Saturday, we practiced Monday and played today. We are still working on the right rotation,” said Ferguson.

Last Updated: 10/22/2013 11:20:58 PM EST