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Inside look at high school and Oakland University sports from Oakland Press sports writer Dave Pemberton.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Volleyball quarterfinal predictions

Just two Oakland County volleyball teams remain alive in the quarterfinals and both are looking for a repeat trip to Battle Creek. Pontiac Notre Dame Prep is the defending Class B champion and Birmingham Marian fell in the Class A finals last season. Here are the predictions.

Class A
Birmingham Marian (63-8-1) vs. Flushing (49-9), 7:30 p.m. at Holly — The Mustangs eliminated Flushing last season in the quarterfinals in a tough five-game match. A fact I’m sure Flushing has not forgotten. The Mustangs will need big games out of the Lovell sisters and Alex Cocklin to pull this one out. Pick: Marian
East Kentwood (61-9-1) vs. Jension, 7 p.m. at East Kentwood — Pick: Jension
Livonia Churchill (48-3) vs. Carleton Airport (47-7), 7 p.m. at Novi — Pick: Churchill
Grosse Pointe North (39-12) vs. Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse (32-17-1), 7 p.m. at Grosse Pointe North — Pick: GPN

NOTE: Teams should not be allowed to have home games in the quarterfinals. At this point it should be at neutral courts. I know these are picked way in advance, but Jension and L’Anse Creuse shouldn’t have to play road games this late in the playoffs. Just my opinion.

Class B
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (47-12-3) vs. Ida (46-9-2), 7 p.m. at Livonia Ladywood — Boy did Notre Dame Prep prove me wrong in its win over Marysville. Not only did the Fighting Irish win, but they did it three-tight games. Ida is a talented team so go ahead prove me wrong again defending champs. Pick: Ida
Plainwell (47-10) vs. Holland Christian (46-12), 7:30 p.m. at Allegan — Pick: Holland Christian
North Branch (68-4) vs. Lake Odessa Lakewood, 7 p.m. at North Branch — Pick: North Branch
Fruitport (44-10) vs. Petoskey (38-8-3), 7 p.m. at Big Rapids — Pick: Fruitport

Playoff record — Regional finals: 4-2; Regional semifinals: 13-2; District finals: 12-4; District finalists: 25-5



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