St. Philip powers past Cards

Mariah Ehrke blasts a shot through the St. Philip defense.

A tall and talented Battle Creek St. Philip squad powered past the Onaway Cardinals 3-0 to move into the state finals of Class D volleyball.

The Cards put up a game effort, but fell by scores of 25-9, 25-8, 25-17 to end their season. Perennial champs St. Philip broke open the first set with an 8-0 run to lead 13-4 before a bad serve turned the ball over to the Cards. With the score 19-8, St. Philip scored the last six to win the first set.

Onaway fell behind 12-2 to open the second set, as the strong front row of St. Philip took charge. Onaway cut the lead to 13-7 on a couple of errors by St. Philip. Then the defending champs closed the door with a 12-1 run to close the set.

The Cards got the first point of the third set and knotted up the score at 7-7 before St. Philip went on another run. They pulled out to a 20-9 lead before Onaway came back to make it closer.

The tandem of Megan Estep (9) and Sara Fullerton (5) put a block on St. Philip's Amanda McKinzie.

“I told the girls that we set our goal to get here. It is not this match that defines us, it is everything that got us to this point that defines us,” said coach Steve Watson after the match.

“I told them I was exceptionally proud of the way they played.

Lady Cardinal players celebrate a point in the Class D semifinal match. (Photo by Richard Lamb)