By Darryl Warner
The Skyline Eagles volleyball team took another step forward to the MHSAA state championship Thursday evening as they beat Novi in the Division 1 regional championship.
The Eagles came into Thursday night’s matchup with momentum as they defeated Temperance Bedford in three straight sets on Tuesday evening. The Eagles used that momentum to beat the Wildcats 3-0 – 26-24, 25-17 and 25-23.
Skyline will play in their first ever D-1 State Quarterfinal match at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at Ann Arbor Huron against Livonia Churchill.
The Eagles, trailing by two points throughout the majority of the first set, came from behind to win the first set 26-24.
Leading the Eagles 21-19, Novi looked as if they were going to win the first set. Novi made a crucial error and served into the net. Skyline tied the score 21-21 with an assist from senior Stacie Warner to Kendal Murray. The Eagles took a 22-21 lead when Warner fed freshman Harper Murray an assist that she killed from the left side of the court.
Skyline opened the score to 23-21 when Novi hit the ball out of bounds. Novi answered and tied the score 23-23. Skyline, unnerved, answered with a kill from Harper Murray to take a 24-23 lead. Novi called timeout and tied the score after Skyline hit the ball out of bounds. Skyline would score the last two points of the first set beating the Wildcats 26-24.
In the second set, Skyline (52-8) surged out to an 11-8 lead highlighted by three kills each from sisters Kendal and Harper Murray. Skyline would soar ahead to a 19-12 lead highlighted by aces from Harper Murray and Stacie Warner. Skyline pulled away for a comfortable 25-17 win, capped off by an ace from Megan Brummett.
Skyline took control of the third set opening up a 17-12 lead over the Wildcats. Novi, looking as if they were going to fold easily began a comeback after being down 22-15. Not wanting to end their season or being shut out, the Wildcats closed the gap to 23-21.
Despite their best effort the Eagles maintained their composure following a timeout and won the third set 25-23. Thursday night’s win over the Wildcats marked the Skyline Eagles first Regional Championship in school history.