BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Spikers battled point for point during their fifth and tie-breaking match against Troy last Thursday.
It closed with the Clarkston Varsity Volleyball team winning the last two points off a hit from junior Jordan Newblatt and a block for a 22-20 victory.
“A lot of emotions,” said Kelly Pinner, head coach. “We knew what Troy was going to throw at us. They have those two pin hitters – outside, Jessica Robinson, is going to Michigan, their right side, Francesca McBride, is going to Florida, so we knew they were going to be tough. When they were in the front row we had a tough time with defense.”
Clarkston opened the night winning the first two matches, 25-18 and 27-25.
Troy evened the score winning the next two 25-17 and 27-25.
“We make too many errors and we don’t know how to get out of situations,” Pinner said about the losses. “We make two errors and it becomes ten errors. Instead of us making two errors and someone stepping up and being a leader and getting something positive done. It’s something we are still working on. We have still have three more weeks to work on it, and our goal is to get better and better. There’s moments we look like a great team – one of the best teams in the state and there’s moments like that third set where it looks like we don’t know what we are doing.”
Troy opened the fifth set with the first point and Newblatt quickly tied it, starting a 4-point run. Troy closed in on points and it was a back and forth battle between the two teams. The Wolves gained a three point lead after a hit from Newblatt, 14-11. Then, Troy’s Robinson and McBride struck back, tying the score at 14 points.
Clarkston finally got the two point lead they needed to win the match, 22-20 and the game, 3-2.
“I am proud we pulled that out in the fifth game,” Pinner said. “I know they were tired. We had an injury that I think morally affected us a little bit. I had to go with a different line up and they stuck with it with different people out there and got it done. It’s a good win for us.”
Sophomore Claire Nowicki had 29 kills and ten digs. Sophomore Alana Watlington had ten kills and one ace. Newblatt had 14 klls, one ace and three blocks.
Senior Mackenzie Rotter had six blocks. Senior Haley Stewart had 26 digs and junior Skyelar Jidas had 13 digs. Senior Kelsey Schaldenbrand had 62 assists.
During the night, Clarkston and Troy also raised close to $2,000 during the Wolves’ first Pink Out. The money will be donated to the Regents of University of Michigan Victors for Michigan and dedicated to assist families who are fighting breast cancer.
The Wolves opened the week against Rochester Adams and won in three matches, 25-22, 25-23, 25-15, Oct. 2.
“We had a good night,” Pinner said. “We made a little bit of a line up change and we stuck with it again tonight until the injury. We are trying to look at different things with our athletes because to be honest some things just aren’t working right now. We are trying to mix things up. It’s what the end of our season will look like see what our best options are so moving into the post season we have the best line up and best possibility we have out there.”
Nowicki had 12 kills and two aces. Watlington had 12 kills and two blocks. Rotter had three blocks. Schaldenbrand had 28 assists and two blocks. Haley Stewart had 18 digs and Jidas had ten digs.
Clarkston (22-10-2, 4-2 OAA Red) hosted Oxford on Tuesday for Senior Night. They head to Beast of the East on Saturday.