Saline Volleyball Shooting for First Regional Title Since 2005

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The Saline volleyball will be shooting for its first Regional title in 17 years Thursday night after taking down host Woodhaven in four sets in the D1 semifinals Tuesday.

The Hornets will face Okemos, an upset winner over Red rival AA Skyline in five sets in the other semifinal.

Half the Saline volleyball team wasn't even born the last time the Hornets won a Regional title in 2005. Saline would bow out in the quarterfinals that year to Red arch-rival Bedford.

Saline held the lead for most of a close first set, but a 6-point run gave the Hornets some breathing room at 16-9. Anna Hesse sparked the run with two big kills along with a pair of points from Laney Burns.

Woodhaven would never recover, and the Hornets took the opening set 25-20.

A pair of blocks by Catherine Flaharty helped the Hornets jump out to a 6-1 lead, but Woodhaven rallied back in the second to tie the game at nine, but Saline would go on a 16-7 run to close out the set 25-16 to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

Facing elimination, Woodhaven fought back in the third set, but the Hornets would lead 21-19 and were poised to end the match. Woodhaven had other thoughts and scored the final six points to take the set 25-21 and force a fourth set.

Woodhaven had the momentum in the fourth set as they tried to rally all the way back.

Saline trailed 14-10 midway through the set and continued to battle, but Woodhaven would lead 21-19 and looked to tie the match.

Beth Ann Ford came up with a pair of big kills late and Saline went on a 6-1 run to close out the match 25-22.

Marie Laurio led the team in kills with 17 kills, while Hesse had 12. Ford and Flaharty had nine kills, each and Addison Ashley eight.

Kate Fredericks and Burns had three aces each, while Ford was a force at the net with five blocks and Flaharty added four.

Olivia Behen was all over the backcourt with 27 digs, whole Burns had 17, and Fredericks nine. 

Burns ran the offense with 49 assists on the night.

Saline returns to the Regional finals for the second straight year and looks to break its title drought against the Wolves (28-7-2). 

The Hornets improved to 36-8-1 on the season. 

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