Canton earn sweep over rival Plymouth in playoff opener
Novi – With teams across the state beginning the state playoffs, few teams were able to begin their postseason run better than Canton on Monday night.
The Chiefs held off a late push from Plymouth in the first game of the match and then cruised to a sweep of their rival, picking up a first round win, 25-23, 25-12 and 25-18.
Up next for Canton is Northville on Tuesday night at 7:00 PM back at Novi high school.
“We started off pretty strong in the first game,” Canton coach Steve Johnson said. “Then we kind ran into a stretch where we made a few errors and let them back in and they took advantage of that. My team. I think that was the point where my team realized that they didn’t want to make the mistake of letting them back in.”
In the first game of the night, Canton jumped out to a 17-11 lead after a block by Haley Diedrick, but Plymouth battled back late in the game.
After the Chiefs extended their lead to 22-12, Plymouth went on an 11-2 run, highlighted by three kills from Lauren Clemens to cut the deficit down to 24-23, but Canton held off the Wildcats for a game one win behind a kill from Emma Clark to seal the 25-23 win.
“Staying up and staying loud in the first game and the bench being excited on every single point,” said Plymouth coach Sarah Marody on what fueled her team’s comeback attempt in the first game. “Being down that much and still having that positive energy was absolutely the key.”
The second game, however, Canton would not allow a large lead to slip away as the Chiefs jumped out to an early advantage and cruised to a 25-12 win after kills from Annie McDougall and Clark to seal the win.
Clark finished with nine kills, while Courtney Kurkie registered seven more kills and Megan Roy had 25 digs to lead Canton.
Johnson said that after his team surrendered the sizable advantage in game one, he simply told his team to move on before game two, which is exactly what the Chiefs did.
“I told them that we needed to move past the fact that they did crawl back into that, but we did a lot to help that with our errors,” said Johnson. “We just needed to relax and not worry about that part.”
In the third game, both teams exchanged the lead throughout the beginning of the game until Canton grabbed a three-point lead after Canton’s Sydney Torres registered a point to give the Chiefs a 16-13 lead.
After Plymouth’s Olivia Beyer came up with a kill to cut the Canton lead down to 17-15, the Chiefs then began to pull away and finished the match on an 8-1 run, capped off by a Hannah Madis block clinched the match win for Canton.
Beyer, an LSU commit, capped off her high school career with 13 kills and four blocks to lead the way for Plymouth, while Alex Barry chipped in with 14 assists and 11 digs for the Wildcats.