By Chris Zadorozny
When the Allen Park Jaguars and Dearborn Pioneers met on Wednesday afternoon at Lincoln Park High School for a semifinal match, the Jaguars expected a strong Pioneers squad. Pioneers Coach Dianne Phillips didn’t get the team she expected against the Jaguars. “They were better than us,” she said.
It was a strong match between both squads, and despite one win in four sets for the Pioneers; Allen Parkoverpowered them to advance to the finals (25-8, 25-19, 14-25, 25-17).
“It was a good mix of everything, I don’t think we had any one star; we had a lot of contribution. We served consistently,” said Jaguars Coach Chris Bozman.
The Jaguars jumped out to an early lead over the Pioneers in the first set, and went on two, five-point runs, and finished on a four-point run to win 25-8. Dearborn looked rusty compared to its win over Fordson on Monday.
In the second set, the Pioneers battled back and had the lead until mid-set. With a 13-12 lead, the Pioneers gave up five straight points to the Jaguars, and the second set slowly slipped from their hands, falling 25-19.
Dearborn was determined to fight until the end, and despite falling down two sets, they wanted that third set, and went on two, 4-point runs, and two, 5-point runs to win 25-14.
“I think they played a little stiff, they didn’t play the game that I was expecting them to play, and they did play the third set. So that was the Dearborn I was expecting,” said Bozman.
Allen Park was worried heading into the fourth set, as the Pioneers that Bozman knew was going to show up, did. The Jaguars held their ground in the fourth set, and along with some Pioneer mistakes and consistent play, the Jaguars advanced to the final with a 25-17 win.
Leading the way for the Pioneers, junior Perah Barrow had two blocks and five kills, along with senior Erica Marra who had five kills and an ace.
For the Jaguars, Miranda Hebert, had fours kills and a block, while Alyssa LaFace had two aces and 12 kills.
Dearborn will graduate three seniors, but will be bringing back a solid core to compete next year.
As for Allen Park, the Jaguars will advance to the finals on Saturday to face the Edsel Ford Thunderbirds, who defeated the Crestwood Chargers in four sets.
To read the original article that appeared online on the News-Herald on November 6, 2013, go to www.miprepzone.com/thenewsherald