University Prep wins PAL volleyball crown
By Harry M. Anderson, Jr.
Special to the Michigan Citizen
University Preparatory High School continues to have success with its athletic program as the Panthers added another trophy to their case. The Panthers girls’ volleyball team won the Gold Division at this year’s Detroit Police Athletic League Volleyball Champions held March 24 at the University of Michigan-Dearborn Fieldhouse.
“I had a formidable team that went all the way,” said UPA Head Coach Fred Henry. “They were focused throughout the season. One of the main points is that they worked together as one team. When I get them to understand teamwork, they came on strong.
The Panthers took their 9-0 regular season record into the PAL Championship Tournament and came out on top. The Panthers defeated Cornerstone in the semi-finals 25-15, 25-19, but had to come from behind to turn back DPS opponent Bates Academy 16-25, 25-13 and 15-11.
“Against Bates we fell apart in the first match,” Henry said. “I called time out during the second set to get them together as team.
“I told them remember the fundamentals you were taught that got you here. After that time out the team calmed down and began to play. We had some very good serves and rallies during the match.”
During the matches eighth grade center Amira Hudson got the momentum going for the Panthers and scored on four good serves in a row. Eighth grader Lanica Phillips also made two good saves. Other players contributing to the Panthers unbeaten season were eighth graders Mariah Day and Joslyn Smith.
In other championship games played at the PAL Volleyball Tournament, the Detroit Edison Public School Academy (DEPSA) won the Silver Division defeated the Golightly Educational Center from the Detroit Public Schools in the finals. The Pioneers defeated University Yes in the preliminary round and the Charles Drew Academy in the semi-finals to get to the Silver Division championship round. The Academy of The Americas from DPS won the Bronze Division defeating the Woodward Academy in the semi-finals and the Bethune School in the finals.
The Plymouth Educational Center won the Junior Varsity Championship defeating Hamtramck in the semi-finals and the Detroit Edison Public School Academy in finals.