LAKE ODESSA, Mich (WLNS) – The Lakewood Vikings have been waiting patiently for the chance to continue their run at the Division 2 state championship. For two months they have been on pause due to the pandemic shutting down all fall sports tournaments back in November.
On Tuesday, the Vikings will be back on the court in a quarterfinal showdown against Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard. Since practicing for a match and playing in one are completely different, we asked the Vikings what parts of their game might be a little rusty.
“I think just the basics just starting from scratch again just being diligent on our serves,” said Lakewood senior middle blocker and Michigan State commit Aubrey O’Gorman. “Just attention to detail and little things because we haven’t been on the floor. Bad things are going to happen but it’s how we focus on doing good things after those bad things.”
“I don’t think we’re really focusing on the team we’re playing tomorrow I think we’re just focusing on ourselves and staying calm,” said Lakewood senior middle blocker Sophie Duits. “I know some of us are a little nervous about getting back on the court. I think it’s very important for me and Aubrey since we’re seniors to keep everyone grounded and focused and just move on to the next point and try to get the goal of winning.
Throughout all the Vikings have been through this year playing through a pandemic, they are two matches away from reaching the state championship match for the second year in a row. Back in 2012, the Vikings won the state title when current head coach Cameron Rowland’s mom, Kellie Rowland, was the head coach. Winning it all this year would mean the world to not just to the Rowland family but the Lakewood volleyball program overall.
“I always say the best day of my life was November 17, 2012, the first state championship,” said Cameron Rowland.”So to have an opportunity to win another one, that date would probably take over. It would be the greatest moment of my life up to this point.”
“I think we’re gonna do it this year I think we’re super excited about being just a couple games away from the big one,” said O’Gorman.
The Vikings’ quarterfinal match against the Irish of Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard will take place at Tecumseh High School at 5 p.m.