Cass Tech, Renaissance win semi-final matches
Play for PSL championship
By Harry M. Anderson, Jr.
Special to the Michigan Citizen
Cass Tech, the defending PSL Champions, will meet up with Renaissance again for the Oct. 24 championship volleyball game. It was not an easy feat for either team to earn their way through the PSL semi-finals Oct. 17 at the Western International Garcia Sports Complex. Both of their opponents put up a good fight; the games were a lot closer than scores indicated.
In the first semi-final, Cass Tech delivered many power spikes to overcome Western International 25-18, 25-10 and 25-14. In the opening match, the Technicians (20-15-6) jumped out to a 5-0 lead 5-0 over the Cowgirls (9-3) before Western rallied to pull within three, 9-6. Cass Tech had a 16-9 lead before Western rallied again with sharp passes and volleys. When the Cowgirls cut the Cass Tech lead to 22-18, the Technicians performed several sharp spikes to score the last three points to clinch the match.
In the second match, Western stayed within striking distance and tied the match at 10, before Cass Tech pulled away to win the match. In the third match, the game stayed close at 14-10 with Cass Tech leading. However, the Technicians outscored the Cowgirls 11-4 in the remaining portion of the game.
“We have to come into the championship with a little more intensity,” said Cass Tech Assistant Coach Ramona Cox. “That’s what we’re focusing on this week because we can’t take Renaissance for granted.”
Cass Tech mid-blocker Sasha Johnson described the game as “good.”
“We knew the match was going to be tough, she said. “We have to go back and prepare for the championship.”
Western International Head Coach Brenda Henry said her team was hoping for a better game.
“Cass Tech is a good team,” she said. “The girls played a good first game. I felt they fought hard and despite our average height (5-5), they weren’t intimidated by their average size (6-0).”
Henry said she’s proud of the way her girls played.
Renaissance (25-3-1) faced a much improved squad from King (15-3) in the second semi-final matchup. The Phoenix won a very close first match 25-21, and routed the Crusaders in the second match 25-7. But then King rallied to win the third match 25-17, forcing the Phoenix to fight hard to win the fourth match and the game, 25-19.
Arielle Sears and Tristyn Walton paced the Phoenix in the hard-earned victory. Sears had 39 assists, 10 kills and two aces while Walton had 19 dig and 11 kills. As a team, the Phoenix had 45 kills and 14 aces.
“It was a tough game, but I knew it would be because King is a team that’s getting better,” said Renaissance Head Coach Lewis Mitchell. “Our team was a little intimidated, but they overcame it. Hats off to the King squad because they played a good match.”
Renaissance outside hitter Chelsi Jones credits victory to the team’s high energy.
“(It) was up for the whole time during the matches,” she said. “We’re getting ready for championship and we have to improve by next week.”
“It was an exciting match because the team showed up today,” said King Head Coach Michele Lewis. “Our girls played with fire and I‘m proud of them.”
In quarter-final action played Oct. 15. Cass Tech defeated CMA 25-1, 25-13, 25-18, Western defeated DIA 25-22, 25-16, 23-25, and 25-21. Renaissance defeated East English Village, 25-10, 25-7, 25-17, and King defeated Mumford three matches to none.
The PSL Championship is scheduled for Oct. 24 at Western International. King will play Western at 4 p.m. The championship game, Cass Tech vs. Renaissance will be at 6 p.m.