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Goodrich reaches new heights, looks to upset top-ranked team in Class B semifinals

By: Jeff Dullack, November 19, 2015, 6:16 pm

Goodrich – Goodrich has established itself as one of the top teams in Class B but one thing was missing from its resume – a regional title.

Led by its senior class, not only did Goodrich win a regional title this season but the Martians are headed to Battle Creek for the semifinals for the first time.

Robyn Batterbee is in her ninth season as Goodrich’s head coach she said that this season has been a memorable one, thanks to the senior class, and added that the juniors have also made significant contributions.

“This is an awesome year for our seniors and it’s an awesome year for everybody,” Batterbee said. “This is history in the making and my seniors are the core of this team and then I’ve got juniors out there on the floor that can bring it just as well.”

Goodrich is led by senior captains, setter Kristi Doherty and libero Megan Underwood, as well as seniors Bethany Schultz and Madison Becker, and junior Abby Francis.

Doherty said that the key to success for Goodrich this year has been its teamwork.

“We just work together,” she said. “Most teams have good players, but they don’t all fit together and we all know what each other is going to do all of the time.”

The playoff run for the Martians has been one where they picked up a thrilling five-set win over Corunna to win their first district title since 2011.

Then in the regional final Goodrich faced the defending Class B champions Pontiac Notre Dame Prep. It took four games and the Martians knocked off the Fighting Irish to reach the quarterfinals.

Again it took four games, but Goodrich wore down Livonia Ladywood to advance to the semifinals at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.

Underwood said that the season has been filled with highs and lows for her and her teammates, but said that they are thrilled to find themselves in the semifinals.

“It’s pretty much been a roller coaster,” she said. “We’ve had our ups and our downs, but when we have our ups, we’re really high. We’re just excited that we’ve made it this far. And we want to keep playing our hardest, and see how far we can go.”

From the start Schultz said she expected her team to be successful. She knew her team had the ability to achieve what no other team in school history had. They just had to prove it.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “But I expected us to go this far from the beginning because we’ve got a lot of talent this year and I hope we can go all the way.”

Standing in Goodrich’s way of taking another step in its memorable season is the No. 1 ranked team in the state, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard. Gabriel Richard has yet to lose a match this season and has swept all six of its playoff opponents so far.

Goodrich (39-9-1) is the No. 7 ranked team in Class B.

Batterbee said that she’s been impressed by her team’s run to the semifinals and credited her team for reaching new heights of winning a quarterfinal and advancing to Battle Creek.

“There’s no feeling like it at all,” she said. “I’ve been telling people for a week and a half now that they’ve got to pinch me, because it doesn’t seem real. I’m very happy for my girls, they do all of the work, I stand on the sidelines. I make up the lineups, we talk a little bit here and there, but they’re the heart and soul of it all.”

The Goodrich-Gabriel Richard match is schedule for Friday at 5:30 p.m.