Mruzik's dominance leads Mercy to CHSL volleyball crown; St. Catherine also wins (VIDEO)

It would be fair to say that last Monday night’s CHSL volleyball championship was a top-10 event.

The four teams that played in the championship staged at Madison Heights Bishop Foley were all top 10 state-ranked teams.

The results were predictable: the higher-ranked team beat the lower-ranked team in each matchup. Farmington Hills Mercy – ranked No. 1 in Division 1 – beat Bloomfield Hills Marian – ranked No. 7 in Division 1 –  25-18, 25-22, 25-20 for the CHSL A-B Division.

In the CHSL C-D Division, Wixom St. Catherine – No. 6 in Division 2 – disposed of Riverview Gabriel Richard – No.  4 in Division 3 – 25-17, 25-17, 25-22.

Mercy trailed only once in the three sets: 1-0 at the beginning of the second set, which turned out to be the most competitive. The score was tied at 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 16, 17 and 18. The widest margin was three points.

Marian's defense struggled against Mercy’s All State hitter, senior Jess Mruzik, who drilled 20 kills.

Mercy’s record of 42-2 includes five victories over Marian (34-7-2). Its two losses were to No. 2-ranked Lake Orion and No. 9-rated Stoney Creek.

State tournament contests begin Oct. 29. What preparation does coach Loretta Vogel have to make for Mercy? “Just little things. Always,” she smiled.

St. Catherine’s coach, Malia Gabel, said her crew has struggled, “but we’re hitting our stride now and developing more confidence.” Senior Payton Porter with a dozen kills and senior Katie Gross’ 28 assists led the Stars’ effort.

St. Catherine (37-4-1) advanced to the final four in last year’s Class C tourney. Gabriel Richard has a 32-9-3 record.

Of interest: Gabel is a 2013 graduate of Gabriel Richard. She played at Northern Illinois and is in her second year at St. Catherine.