Hits against tough competition

Clarkston News Sports Writer
Spikers opened the their season with a mix of wins and losses. The Clarkston Varsity Volleyball team played Detroit Country Day and Utica Eisenhower on Thursday and posted wins against both teams.
“We hardly ever see Detroit Country Day so this is exciting to see a new team,” said Kelly Pinner, head coach going into the games. “It’s been years, if at all, we have played them. I am pretty excited about playing somebody different, seeing different things there.”
They defeated the Yellowjackets, 2-0 (25-16, 25-18). Claire Nowicki had seven kills and Hannah Cady had five kills. Sydney Hasenfratz had three blocks. Summer Jidas had five digs. Jordan Kiokeid had 12 assists and Shay Bordine had ten assists.
The Wolves won their match over Utica Eisenhower, 2-1. They lost the first game, 26-24, then won the next two games, 25-13 and 15-8.
Jordan Newblatt led with 11 kills and had six digs. Cady had four kills. Nowicki and Hasenfratz had three kills each. Jidas had 11 digs. Bordine had 13 assists. Klokeid had 11 assists and seven digs. Elizabeth Adams had three blocks.
The Wolves opened the season against Notre Dame Prep, Lake Orion and Oxford at NDP’s quad, Aug. 27.
“It is a pretty tough opening day,” said Pinner. “Orion is defending state champs and Notre Dame Prep is always a solid program. Oxford looks like they are starting off the year well. Also, they had a good day on Saturday. It is definitely going to be some competition but that’s good – that’s what we like.”
The Wolves posted 24-14 and 25-20 wins over Notre Dame Prep. Nowicki had 13 digs and five kills. Cady had six kills and Newblatt had five kills. Jidas had ten digs. Bordine had six digs and ten assists. Klokeid had 12 assists. Adams and Hasenfratz had three blocks each.
They lost to OAA Red foes Lake Orion, 25-18, 25-15; and lost to Oxford, 25-23, 25-20.
Against Lake Orion, Nowicki had six kills. Klokeid had nine assists and six digs. Bordine had seven assists. Jidas had eight digs.
Nowicki and Newblatt both had eight kills in the match against Oxford. Cady had five kills. Jidas had 14 digs while Nowicki had nine digs. Bordine had 15 assists and Klokeid had eight assists. Before going into the quad, Pinner said the competition will help to see where the team is at after close to two weeks of practice.
“Right from the beginning of the year it’s going to tell us where we are, how we stack up against the best teams in the state, and hopefully we will be able to see our strengths and weaknesses coming out of Tuesday and give us things to work on for the rest of the year,” she explained.
They opened the week in their annual quad against Flushing, North Branch and Oxford, which Flushing is hosting this year.
“North Branch always produces great teams year in and year out,” Pinner said. “Flushing, they are up their in the preliminary state rankings. Again, we’ve got a solid schedule.”
The schedule helps them get ready for the OAA Red league and the post-season, she said.
“It’s our goal all the time – play the toughest competition we can so we can get ready for our tough league and just to get ready for that end of the season,” she said.
The Wolves have solid returners coming back to this year’s team including senior outside hitter Newblatt and three-year starter junior outside hitter Nowicki.
Pinner added she is expecting good things from both of them this year.
“We have a pretty solid defense – the Jidas sisters – Summer and Skyelar, and Abbey Tolmie, are all returners in defense in our back court,” she added. “They all bring some different things, some different skill sets to us that are going to be helpful. We have a returning middle, Sydney Hasenfratz, who saw some time at the end of last year and has improved a lot. I think we are going to see some good things out of her, too.”
The varsity team is ranked sixth on Prep Dig’s top 15 teams in Division 1 as of Aug. 23.
The Wolves head to a tournament at Oxford High School on Saturday. They host their own quad on Sept. 10 against Rochester Adams, Saline and Lakeland, 7 p.m