Cards claim first volleyball regional

Onaway players and fans celebrate the volleyball program's first regional championship Thursday, Nov. 8 at St. Ignace. (Photo by Richard Lamb)

It is on to the quarterfinals for the Onaway volleyball team after defeating Rudyard (25-21, 25-19, 25-7) in the regional championship Thursday.

Rudyard got the first point of the first two sets but the Cardinals played under control in the match to win their first ever regional championship. 

Mariah Ehrke blasts a shot through the Rudyard defense in the deciding game of the regional tournament. (Photo by Richard Lamb)

Coach Steve Watson has seen improvement in his team each year, but knows this team has its sights set on more.

“We have been to the regional finals and never won. This year we won the conference and regionals and had neve done those things in the same year. Now that we’ve gotten this far, I can let it be known that we are not satisfied with just the regional. We want to keep winning, ” Watson said.

Celebrating a regional championship. (Photo by Richard Lamb)

The coach said the players have a no-quit attitude, taking every game as a challenge to be conquered.

“The demand a lot of themselves on the court and they work really hard throughout the year,” Watson said. “It is not just about the talent but the work ethic and they’ve got both.”

Senior setter Megan Estep led the way with 42 assists and 4 kills and left hitter Mariah Ehrke had 16 kills, 2 aces and 15 digs. Right hitter Devin Bristley added 15 kills and Sara Fullerton had 5 kills, 3 digs and 3 blocks. Lexi Szymoniak had 8 kills and 11 digs. Emily Estep added 12 digs. 

Onaway plays in the Class D quarterfinal Tuesday in Petoskey.