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The Tigers swept the first two sets from Brown City in the Class C state quarterfinals in Saginaw. But then they let their opponents rally and take the last three, ending their season in stunning fashion.
The set scores were 25-22, 25-20, 16-25, 12-25 and 8-15.
“Things started out pretty well for us,” said a disappointed Shelby Coach Tom Werrick, whose team finished the season with a very good 39-11-4 record, along with district and regional championships. “We had to battle back to win both of the first sets. Then it was the same thing in the third set, but we dug a hole and couldn’t get back out of it.
“We couldn’t get much flow going the last three sets. We didn’t finish on the ball quite as well. It feels like we let one slip away. But (Brown City) has a good team. In the quarterfinals you kind of expect that.”
Jaren Smith had 20 kills and 17 digs for Shelby. McKenna Peters had 18 kills, 17 digs and served three aces. Kasey Morse added 38 assists, Brooke James and Tori Mussel had three blocks apiece and Amy England contributed 19 digs.
Werrick noted that many of his players will be returning next season, with their sights set on advancing even further in the tournament.
“I’m proud of the girls,” the coach said. “We know what it takes to get here now, and we can be better next year and press a little further.”