Season end to Dragons

Clarkston News Sports Writer
Spikers battled point for point in their fourth set against Lake Orion in the first round of district playoffs.
The set ended with a 31-29 loss for the Clarkston Varsity Volleyball team, giving the Dragons a 3-1 win for the night, Nov. 4.
“It was tough – we had seven set points We couldn’t close it out,” said Kelly Pinner, head coach. “We made a lot of unforced errors on our part. Orion’s got some good attackers. When we gave them the opportunity they smacked it in our face. It’s kind of how the night went.”
She added it was a tough draw to face Lake Orion in the first round of the MHSAA Division 1 Volleyball District 5 with both teams ranked in the state.
“You have to beat the best to be the best so eventually we would have had to play them,” she said, adding she is hopeful the MHSAA will change the way they do playoffs for volleyball in the future.
Lake Orion won the first two sets 25-20 and 25-15 and Pinner admitted the Wolves started off rocky.
“They were serving real aggressive and our best passers were just struggling,” she said. “We couldn’t really get our offense started at all.”
The Wolves took the third set away from Lake Orion, 25-22.
“Things started to turn in our favor,” Pinner said. “We started passing better, started finding some holes from our attackers. It’s the reason we won the third set is because we did a better job passing and got our offense going. Then, the fourth set was frustrating.”
She added she was proud of the girls.
“When you are down two sets to none in a five series, it’s almost a dagger and they fought,” she said. “They fought so hard to win that third set and then we were so close to winning that fourth set. I honestly think if we had won that fourth set it would have made a big difference going into game five.”
Sophomore Summer Jidas had 21 digs and one ace, senior Jordan Newblatt had 15 kills and one ace, and junior Sydney Hasenfratz had six blocks and six kills.
The Wolves finished the season with an overall 42-6 record and won the OAA Red League with an undefeated 7-0 record.
“It’s one of the best seasons we have had in years,” Pinner said. “I am very proud of this team. I think they did great. We played some tough matches, beat some tough opponents. We ended up ranked fifth in the season.”
The Wolves lose seniors Newblatt, Abbey Barta, Hannah Cady, Courtney Farrugia, Skyelar Jidas, Jordan Klokeid and Abbey Tolmie.
“We are going to miss them a lot,” said Pinner. “The seniors this year were very passionate, great leaders. They are great people, great human beings so hopefully they taught these younger kids some of those lessons.
“The other thing is we are young. We only really had one senior starter out there,” she continued. “We have a lot of young kids coming back.”
She added they have experience coming back with junior Claire Nowicki going into her fourth year with the team next season and Hasenfratz and sophomore Summer Jidas coming back going into their third year.

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