FARMINGTON HILLS — The Farmington Hills Mercy basketball team is one with an abundance of talent, a good mix of experience and youth, and potential to make yet another run come playoff time.
As coach Gary Morris assessed the first quarter of the 2017-18 season, there wasn’t too much that he had to complain about.
“We’re happy — you have to be,” Morris said about his team. “We’ve gotten off to a good start, and that’s what you love to see.”
Good to the tune of a 5-0 record at press time.
“We’ve been in some close games, too,” Morris added. “But we’re finding ways to win, which is key.”
The Marlins went 22-4 last year, reaching the state quarterfinals before eventually falling to Warren Cousino.
FARMINGTON HILLS — There is an expectation, fairly or unfairly, that needs to be upheld.
In 2017, the Farmington Hills Mercy swim team certainly lived up to it.
The Division 1 state swimming and diving state finals were held Nov. 17-18 at Oakland University, and once again, the Marlins asserted themselves as the top team in the state.
“It’s very cool,” second-year coach Mike Venos said. “This was the culmination of a very interesting season for us. But you have to take a lot of pride in this.”
With a total of 37 teams scoring in the two-day final, the Marlins finished with a score of 277.
Saline High was next-best with 248, and Harrison-Farmington came in third with 192.
College Bound Athletes
Depth wins out for Farmington Hills Mercy
Farmington Hills Mercy didn’t win a single event at the Division 1 meet, but won its first state title since 2013 and eighth overall thanks to its depth. The Marlins had two runner-up finishes and had swimmers finish in the top-10 in 10 of the 12 events.
A girls title for Venos
Mike Venos, the longtime boys coach at Brother Rice who has led the Warriors to the last four state titles in Division 1 and six overall, won his first state title with a girls team.
He is in his second year as Mercy's coach.
“Boys can be kind of boring,” Venos said. “They just want to get in and train. With the girls, it’s the whole social aspect."
The Farmington Hills Mercy Marlins won the MHSAA D1 swim meet with 277 points with Saline finishing 2nd and Farmington finishing 3rd. The meet was held on Saturday Nov. 18, 2017 at Oakland University. Scroll through the photo gallery above to see images from the meet. (Oakland Press photo gallery by Ken Swart)
Farmington Hills Mercy concludes its pregame ritual just before the start of a Class A quarterfinal against New Baltmore Anchor Bay on Tuesday.
WEST BLOOMFIELD >> With a four-game victory Tuesday, Farmington Hills Mercy advanced to the Class A semifinals in Battle Creek for the first time since 2010, getting over the hump with a quarterfinals win against New Baltimore Anchor Bay, 25-17, 21-25, 26-24, 25-19.
The Marlins narrowly captured the pivotal third-set after the teams had split the first two. Down 23-22, Mercy sophomore Jess Mruzik recorded three emphatic kills in a row to regain the lead and set up Lauren Hunter for the final point.
Congratulations to Marlin Swim & Dive Team for capturing the 2017 Catholic High School League Championship!
Special shout-out swim wins:
200 Medley Relay champs with a time of 1:48.83
200 free champ is Minnich with a time of 1:51.62
200 IM champ is Goit from with a time of 2:09.76
Dive champ is McCliment
100 Free champ is Connolly with a time of 52.76
With heavy hitters all over the place, Farmington Hills Mercy put the hammer down against Livonia Stevenson in Thursday’s Class A regional girls volleyball final.
The Marlins rolled to a 25-9 win in the opening set and continued their relentless attack in Game 2, prevailing 25-10 despite a nice string of serves by Spartans sophomore Erin Pietruszka.
In the third set, Mercy faced some trials and tribulations — with Pietruszka again serving up a couple aces to get the Spartans out to a short-lived 3-0 lead — before closing things out with a 25-18 win.
Going up for the clinching block were senior Lauren Hunter and freshman Charli Atiemo, triggering a happy celebration on the court at Farmington High School.
With a lethal and varied attack that rarely takes a break, Farmington Hills Mercy blew past Grosse Pointe South in Tuesday’s Class A volleyball regional semifinal at Farmington High School.
The Catholic League champion Marlins might be sneaking a peek at what nemesis Bloomfield Hills Marian might be doing during the state tournament — the teams could meet in a semifinal on Nov. 16 at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.
Veteran coach Loretta Vogel would like to stop what she said is a recent trend of opponents going on to the championship after knocking her team out of the tournament. That happened last year when Novi ousted Mercy and then won it all.