2021 MHSAA Division 2 Volleyball Champions: Pontiac Notre Dame Preparatory
Head coach: Betty Wroubel l Assistant coaches: Ryan Minarik, Liz Stibich, Michael McCarthy
Players: Seniors: Hanna Rutila, Elyssa Wallace, Josephine Bloom, Alyssa Borellis, Leah Greif, Bianca Giglio, Sophia Sudzina, Sara Nouhan, Abigail Nellis; Juniors: Allison Berent, Margo Sudzina, Grace Wenaas, Ryann Simmonds; Sophomores: Kendall Smith, Sophia Sermo, Bree Blakeslee, Madison Pawlowski; Freshmen: Mya Kattula, Audrey Thummel
The Irish left no doubt.
No. 1-ranked Pontiac Notre Dame Preparatory swept No. 5-ranked North Branch 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-12) to win the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 2 volleyball championship on Saturday, Nov. 20, at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.
It was the Irish’s first championship since 2017 and fourth overall. Notre Dame also won titles in 2013 and 2007.
Against North Branch, senior Alyssa Borellis (Mississippi) led the Irish with 17 kills, 13 assists, and nine digs. Senior Bianca Giglio had 10 kills. Senior Josephine Bloom had 20 digs. Junior Margo Sudzina added 19 assists and seven digs in the victory. Senior Sophia Sudzina had four kills and three digs.
“This is really nice, these kids grew up, were on the team as freshmen and we had to grow into this and learn how to win,” long-time head coach
Betty Wroubel told reporters, who featured four four-year varsity players in Borellis, Bloom, Giglio, and Sophia Sudzina. That group would reach Battle Creek in each of their four seasons. Borellis and Bloom were both Miss Volleyball finalists this season.
“When you get to the Final Four whatever happens here is icing on the cake. It’s nice to get over the hump. I’m glad that this group got to experience a taste of the state championship because they are a very talented group and they worked very, very hard,” continued Wroubel.
Notre Dame finished the season an impressive 64-1. Its only loss came to Farmington Hills Mercy at a mid-season tournament, playing without Borellis due to a dislocated left thumb.
Borellis came back in Notre Dame’s quarterfinal sweep over No. 4-ranked Detroit Country Day on Nov. 16.
Notre Dame dispatched No. 2-ranked and three-time defending champion Grand Rapids Christian 3-1 in the semifinals on Nov. 19. Notre Dame won a regional championship, beating Marysville 3-0 on Nov. 9.