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Notre Dame Prep set for rematch of 2013 Class B quarterfinal with North Branch in Semifinals

By: Jeff Dullack, November 20, 2014, 6:41 pm

Pontiac – All season long, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, the defending Class B state champions has had a target on its back, but that hasn’t seemed to faze the fighting Irish.

Notre Dame Prep, led by Miss Volleyball winner Katherine Carlson doesn’t look like it has lost a step to this point this season as the Irish are just two wins away from winning a second straight state championship.

Notre Dame Prep coach Betty Wroubel said that Carlson’s performance in the quarterfinal win over Dearborn Divine Child showed exactly why the Valpraiso-bound senior why Carlson was named Miss Volleyball.

“She showed why she was Miss Volleyball,” she said. “She has all the shots, she just finds a way to do it. She’s so fun to watch, it’s hard to believe we have just a couple of more days with her. She’s a great leader. She’s just a great gift to our community.”

Carlson said that the energy and excitement that came with being named Miss Volleyball on Monday carried over into Tuesday’s quarterfinal match and added that Notre Dame Prep’s team chemistry is what has the Irish are two wins away from another state championship.

“I used that excitement (I had on Monday), today (Tuesday),” she said. “(On Monday) my team was feeling happy for me, they really helped me a lot to get ready for Tuesday. Our team chemistry is why we are here.”

Carlson will lead Notre Dame Prep into the Class B semifinals against a North Branch team that has been waiting for a rematch since last year when the two teams met in the quarterfinals, where the Irish won in thrilling fashion, taking the match in five games and 24-22 in game five to move on.

The match will take place on Thursday night at 7:15 pm at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.

North Branch has a star player of its own in senior Laura Willson, who was also a Miss Volleyball nominee and finished in fourth place in the voting. On Tuesday night, North Branch swept Cadillac to advance to the Class B semifinals and the Broncos are next in the long line of teams looking to knock off the Irish.

Carlson noted that the road to get back to Battle Creek wasn’t an easy one for her and her teammates and they are definitely enjoying their second straight trip.

“I took a lot of hard work to get back,” she said. “It’s an amazing feeling to get back to Battle Creek.”
The winner of the Notre Dame Prep-North Branch semifinal game will advance to the Class B State Championship game where it will face the winner of the Battle Creek Harper Creek-Lake Odessa Lakewood semifinal game.