Coates makes top 20 in country

Jenna Coates of Clarkston represented the best volleyball players from southeast Michigan last week.
Her team, 16-National Legacy Volleyball Club, played against the top teams in the country in the USA Junior Olympic Girls Volleyball Competition in Dallas, Texas.
They were the only team of 16-year-olds in Michigan to qualify for the event.
‘It was an awesome experience,? said Coates. ‘It was cool to see how each team played.?
Coates said she witnessed different techniques and strategies used by her competitors. She played 12 matches over the span of four days.
The team ended the event with a 3-6 record in matches and 9-13 record in games, putting them in the top 20 in the country.
Coates joined the team last year so she could play volleyball all year long, work on her skills and improve her game.
Her teammates come from schools around southeast Michigan and are dedicated to the game, she said.
Last year the team made it all the way to state finals. They lost the final game by two points.
Coates? teammates are Stephanie Bodien of Mercy, Erin Cooney and Rachael Charles of Marian, Kelly Maxwell of Shrine, Carissa McKenna of Walled Lake Northern, Jesse Prepolec of Andover, and Destiny Tolliver of Notre Dame Prep.
Last fall was her first year on Clarkston’s varsity volleyball team. Coates helped the team win the OAA league title and districts before they lost to Marian in the regional match.
As a junior, Coates has focused her goals for her second year on helping the team make it past regionals and become one of the top teams in the state. The varsity team will start their season Aug. 23 at the West Bloomfield Invitational.
She will continue playing volleyball for the rest of her summer vacation. She is attending a volleyball camp at University of Michigan and going to the open gym for practicing and conditioning.