Mercy volleyball off to a flying start to season

Mike Moore

FARMINGTON HILLS — There was an understanding that this team had potential when the season officially launched.

That potential has given way to a proven winner. So far, anyway.

The Farmington Hills Mercy volleyball team reached the Class A regional finals a year ago before falling to eventual state champ Novi High.

When this season began, eight varsity veterans were back in the mix. When this season began, the Marlins hit the ground running.

“Coming off the year we had and having the girls back that we do is very helpful,” coach Loretta Vogel said. “It’s been a good start for us, and a lot of it has to do with the type of team we have. They are a great fit. They are very close, and you can tell by the way they play.”

Following a weekend tournament Sept. 16 in Warren, the Marlins were 15-3-0 on the year at press time.

“I really think it has to do with us meshing as a team,” senior Lauren Hunter said. “There’s a lot of support within this group. We shake off anything bad and move on quickly.”

Hunter is a four-year starter on the varsity squad and one of the eight vets who returned this year.

“That’s been a big deal,” she said of the experienced group. “We all played together last year and have really built on that camaraderie.”

Hunter and Vogel also mentioned a new face — freshman setter Julia Bishop — as a big reason for the success so far.

“It’s hard to believe she’s a freshman,” Hunter laughed.

Sophomore Jessica Mruzik and senior setter Libby Miodonski have also been key contributors.

Still, as good as things have been, there’s hope that the best is yet to come.

“For me, I always like to take things one day at a time,” Vogel said. “Most of these girls come through the program, they know what they want and what they need to do. The staff has been together for many years. There’s a lot going for us right now with this group.”

“What we’ve done so far is something to be proud of,” Hunter said. “At the same time, I think we all know we can be better. With more work and more practice, and in a month or so, we could be a very difficult team to beat.”