2016-11-17 / Sports

Glass wins No. 1,000 as Leland punches ticket to Battle Creek

By Jay Bushen
Of The Enterprise staff


LELAND PLAYERS come together to celebrate a big point in the fourth set of Tuesday’s win over Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart in Buckley. The win was the 1,000th of Leland coach Laurie Glass’ career. (An assistant coach informed the Enterprise this week that the records printed in last week’s paper shorted Glass two wins in the early 2000s). LELAND PLAYERS come together to celebrate a big point in the fourth set of Tuesday’s win over Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart in Buckley. The win was the 1,000th of Leland coach Laurie Glass’ career. (An assistant coach informed the Enterprise this week that the records printed in last week’s paper shorted Glass two wins in the early 2000s). Leland was one point away from extending its postseason sweep streak to five games in Tuesday’s Class D quarterfinal game in Buckley, but an impressive third-set rally from Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart kept the Lady Irish alive, snapped Leland’s streak and swung the momentum.

What did Leland coach Laurie Glass have to say to her Lady Comets after the third-set letdown?

“I said nothing to them,” Glass said after the match. “It’s not like they don’t know. That had to come from them. I didn’t have any coaching tips. I didn’t have any great, like, wisdom about what they could do to change the momentum.

“They played badly, and they were either going to play better or they weren’t going to play better. Nothing I was going to say in that moment was going to be ‘the big thing.’”

That decision led to a one-sided fourth set — and the 1,000th victory of Glass’ distinguished coaching career.

As has been the case with previous milestones in her career, Glass deflected credit to players, her fellow coaches and the Leland program.

“It means I had a chance to spend time with some of the most amazing young women in the world,” Glass said. “It also means I’m super old and I’ve been doing this long enough that we’ve won a lot of games. I think it’s a credit to our program, the coaches I have at the younger levels. We have that many coaches sitting on the bench because they’re that involved, from seventh through me, and I reap the benefits of those things.”

The Comets (42-10-4), who had swept 10 of their last 12 postseason opponents dating back to 2015, clinched their spot at Battle Creek’s Kellogg Arena for the third straight year with the win (25-19, 25-15, 24-26, 25-11). They’ll take on Plymouth Christian at 3:45 p.m. on Friday with a spot in Saturday’s state final on the line.

“I didn’t think we played particularly well,” Glass said. “We didn’t serve very well until that last set, and we had a lot of hitting errors from people who aren’t normally the people making the hitting errors. But what’s nice about it is we have enough other people to get the job done. Hanna Elwell was killing it in the first set. Our middles were killing it in the second set. Rowan (Wilson) had a big night tonight. It wasn’t (Allie Martin’s) best night, but she did a lot of other things really well. She served really well and served really aggressively.”

Wilson led Leland offensively with an 11-kill, 14-dig performance.

Martin, a focal point of the Sacred Heart game plan, finished with nine kills, two aces and 11 digs. Maddy Grosvenor had seven kills, three aces and 10 digs while Elwell and Kira Metcalf combined for 11 kills. Ella Siddall had another strong performance from the setter position, tallying 34 assists to go with an ace, six digs and two blocks. Libero Julie Bardenhagen supplied a team-high 21 digs and her second kill of the 2016 campaign.

Sacred Heart’s focus on Martin opened the door for key swings from players like Elwell, who earned high praise from her coach after the game.

“Tonight she started off hot and built momentum,” Glass said of the sophomore. “She’s the best jumper I have on my team, bar none.”

Wilson, meanwhile, came through with a handful of thunderous swings at key points in the game.

The lone junior on this year’s team said she’s “stoked” to return to Battle Creek, and that having a hand in her coach’s 1,000th career win meant a lot.

“It’s crazy to think that we have such a great program and that she’s getting all these wins,” she said. “It’s so fun.”

Wilson and her teammates will hope to keep the fun rolling in Battle Creek on Friday. With a win, the team will take on either Rogers City or Auburn Hills Oakland in Saturday’s championship 10 a.m.

Return to top