Clarkston crowned district champs

By Wendi Reardon Price
Clarkston News Sports Writer
— The Wolves defeated three teams to win the MHSAA Division 1 Volleyball District 29 crown last week.
The Clarkston Varsity Volleyball team finished the week with a 3-1 win over Walled Lake Northern in the district championship game on Thursday. They won the first set, 25-21. Then, lost the second set, 25-20, before taking the last two sets, both with a 25-13 score.
Emery Kuebler had 32 assists, eight digs, three kills and two aces. Marlie Smith had ten kills, ten assists and 15 digs. Addison Newblatt had 13 kills and five digs. Kiley Gallagher had 15 digs, five assists and one ace. Jessica Petker had four digs and three aces. Cayla Cogan had 17 kills and Isabelle Henry had seven kills.
The Wolves defeated Lake Orion in the district semifinals, 3-1. They won the first two sets, 25-10 and 25-20.
“Overall tonight went very well,” said Ali Smith, head coach. “I said this when we played Lake Orion during league – they are very well coached, they are very well prepared all the time. Once again it’s a rivalry, and we always know it’s going to be a battle.”
Clarkston opened the third set taking the lead. The Dragons climbed up going on a 7-point run to take the lead 11-6 with some hits from Devin Brunk and Carly Zibell. They continued to hold the lead throughout the rest of the set.
With one more point to win the set, 24-19, the Wolves closed the gap scoring four consecutive points with hits from Marlie Smith.
The set finished with the Dragons winning, 25-23.
“I felt like we were really confident in our huddle prior to the fourth set,” Smith shared. “I think we had a little bit of a lull in set three. Our receive couldn’t really pass. We couldn’t really get some things going on our side. We did gain momentum towards the end of the third set that carried over into the fourth set.”
Clarkston opened the fourth set with three points with a combined effort from M. Smith and Cogan. The momentum continued until the Wolves closed the set, 25-16.
“Something our team has been really working on this year is when we make a mistake letting it go and not letting it effect the next three mistakes,” said Smith. “We referenced the third set as it’s not how we wanted it to go but are we going to let it effect more than just the third set. I thought they were like a new group in the fourth set.”
Smith added Henry, Newblatt and M. Smith stood out for the night.
“Addison was really gritty offensively hitting all the shots using her toolbox,” Smith said. “Marlie had a lot of action.”
Smith had 15 kills, 13 assists, 11 digs and two aces. Newblatt had 13 kills, eight digs and two aces. Kuebler had 36 assists, 11 digs and one ace. Cogan had 14 kills and three digs, Henry had ten kills; and Gallagher had 17 digs.
The Wolves opened the district playoffs with a 3-0 win over White Lake Lakeland, 25-12, 25-8 and 25-19. Newblatt had nine kills, four digs, two aces and two blocks. M. Smith had seven kills, seven digs, 11 assists and four aces. Cogan had eight kills. Kuebler had 19 assists, seven digs and one ace. Henry had six kills and two blocks; Lozzi had eight digs and four aces; Gallagher had seven digs and six aces; and Petker had four digs and one aces.
Clarkston played Hartland in the MHSAA Division 1 Volleyball Regional 8 Semifinal on Tuesday. The winner plays in the regional final on Thursday at Grand Blanc High School, 6 p.m.
The regional champion plays in the MHSAA Division 1 Volleyball Quarterfinal 4 at St. Clair Community College in Port Huron, Nov. 14, 7 p.m.

Jessica Petker serves during the Wolves’ 3-1 win over Lake Orion. Photo: Wendi Reardon Price

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