Mansfield swept Alpena, 25-15, 26-24, 25-17 for a spot Saturday’s 3A state championship match. And they’ll face a familiar foe — Paris — for the title.
Mansfield (32-3) completed a sweep through the first three rounds of the tournament without losing a set. Paris needed four sets to reach the title match by beating Fountain Lake 25-20, 25-19, 22-25, 25-23
Kaylie Pyles led the attack for Mansfield on Thursday with 16 kills while Erin Reano had 11 kills. Mallory Ward had eight kills and 12 assists and Eric McKay had 15 assists.
Mansfield was challenged in the second set as Alpena had game point at 24-23. But Mansfield won three straight points with Ward putting down a clutch kill and Andi Cumbie serving an ace.
“Alpena played a real defensive game with a lot of tipping the ball,” Mansfield coach April Howell said. “That can be tough because there aren’t a lot of holes in the defense and they are trying to score points off your errors. But we stayed with our game and played well enough to win it.”
Paris (19-8) ran through the state tournament to make the championship last year and made a repeat this year.
“Our seniors felt like they have something to prove,” Paris coach Wes Davis said. “We have made a lot of adjustments in the lineup trying to find the right combination, but they have come together in the tournament.”
Daisy Mitchell led Paris with 22 kills and freshman Lycia Peevy had 21 kills. Jakayra Austin added 15 kills.
“I can’t say enough about our passing and digs on the back row,” Davis said. “Morgan Highfield, Katelyn Kenzy, Destiny Mantooth and Rachel Hamilton all did a great job on defense and getting the ball to the attackers.”
Mansfield def. Alpena 25-15, 26-24, 25-17.
Paris def. Fountain Lake 25-20, 25-19, 22-25, 25-23.