Lakewood had a reason to celebrate on November 17.

The Vikings swept North Branch 25-20, 25-18, 25-17 to take the school’s first Class B volleyball state championship at Kellogg Arena.

It was the 787th career win for Kellie Rowland, in her 15th season as Lakewood coach.

We were pretty nervous coming in today,” Rowland said. “North Branch looked pretty fantastic Thursday night [in the state semifinal.] Having that one day of practice helped tremendously, and they did everything we thought they would do. My girls adapted and did what they needed to do.”

Olivia Davis fired a kill for Lakewood for a 20-19 lead in the first game, and Sunshine Young served the Vikings to a 23-19 lead. North Branch hit the ball out of bounds for Lakewood’s 25th point.

We were up 19-17, and I felt that if we could have gotten that first game, who knows what would have happened,” said North Branch coach James Fish. “We just couldn’t do it. Sometimes you have to give the other team their due. They’re just a good team.”

Brooke Wieland served two straight aces for an 8-2 Viking lead in the second game. Lakewood was able to stay on a roll and led 16-10 on Beth Tingley’s ace and 18-11 on senior Emily Kutch’s kill. Kutch also delivered kills for her team’s last two points.

North Branch hung tough in the third game but couldn’t control Lakewood at the end. 

We have more size and more power,” Rowland said. “I think that was the killer. Kutch and Davis were putting the ball away pretty easily over there. 

We have the size, we have the speed, and we have the quickness. Brooke Wieland, our setter, really stepped up with the ball. She felt it in warmups. The hitters said ‘just keeping setting, it’s right where we need it.’”

Kutch had 18 kills and seven digs, while Davis added 14 kills, four aces, and two digs. Wieland was credited with 31 assists and 11 digs, Tingley with three assists and 11 digs, and Charlie Smith with four kills and four assists.

It’s so great to finally have a dream like this come true,” Davis said. “We all went in and did our best, did our jobs, and it worked.”

Lakewood won the title with a 52-4 record.

It feels so amazing,” said Kutch. “We worked so hard for this. Everybody has been saying this team this year would be the one to win it all, and we did.”