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December 11, 2013
By: Butch Harmon

Hemlock volleyball reaches regional finals




One of the finest seasons in Hemlock volleyball history ended in the regional final, and with it, so did a very successful run for Hemlock’s head coach.

Hemlock dropped a three-set match to Unionville-Sebewaing, the 4th-ranked team in the state, in the regional final at Ubly, despite 16 kills from senior standout Karlie Herrington.

“I’m very proud of my girls,” Hemlock coach Russ Kela said. “We’ve come so far this season; this is the first time Hemlock has gone this far.”

The match marked the final match coached by Kela, who stepped down after seven years at the helm. He guided the Huskies to three district titles during his seven seasons, including two district titles in the past three years.

Hemlock won the district in thrilling fashion by defeating Valley Lutheran in five games (25-20, 19-25, 25-22, 24-26, 15-5) at the Nouvel district. Herrington led Hemlock with 34 kills and five blocks in the final.

Hemlock won its regional semifinal match against New Lothrop in four games (17-25, 26-24, 27-25, 25-21). Herrington led Hemlock with 31 kills and seven blocks. Abbi Phillipson recorded 14 kills and five blocks, while Brooke Phillion put the offense in motion with 50 assists.

Hemlock finished the season with a 26-18-2 record.