Season finish at regionals

BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Spikers battled as they finished their season to Marian in the regional finals last Thursday at Bloomfield Hills High School, 3-0.
“I told them it hurts tonight, but hopefully they will look back on the season and these last couple of weeks,” said Clarkston Varsity Volleyball Head Coach Kelly Pinner. “It’s been great to coach them all year long.”
Marian opened the first game with a two point lead. The Wolves caught up and tied the game before taking the lead with points from Corrin Gualtieri and Abbey Malinowski.
Both teams stayed neck and neck on the scoreboard until Marian took the game, 26-24.
Marian led by 11 points during the second game as the Wolves closed the gap quite a few times and had close saves to keep Marian from scoring before the Mustangs took the game, 25-20.
“It’s a testimony to what was mostly seniors out on the floor,” Pinner said. “They didn’t want it to end. We are a talented team. We were just a little off tonight.”
The third game finished the same way as the Mustangs won the game and regional championship, 25-20.
“Marian played an outstanding game,” she added. “They brought everything. Lauren Wenzel was hard for us to stop. Their outside hitters were just banging it. Their defense is amazing. We struggled on serving. We never really got anything going offensively. That’s not a good combination to win regionals.”
Malinowski had 13 kills and Kayla Luchenbach had four blocks and three kills. The Wolves defeated Troy in the regional semifinals on Nov. 7, 3-0; 25-17, 26-24, 25-19.
“Troy is a great team,” Pinner said. “They have outside hitter Jessica Robinson. She was hard for us to stop, but we played some great defense. We were able to get an offense going and be able to use Abbey and the other hitters.”
Malinowski had 19 kills and two blocks. Claire Nowicki had eight kills and Jennifer Chupinsky had two aces and 15 digs.
“It’s obviously disappointing to end your season that way,” Pinner said. “As a varsity coach and being part of a varsity team, the girls have to realize you are going to end the season unless you are the one team that wins the state championship.”
The team said goodbye to nine seniors: Jennifer Chupinsky, Kayla Daly-Seiler, Corrin Gualtieri, Olivia Johnson, Shaelyn Koleber, Grace Kraft, Kayla Luchenbach, Abbey Malinowski and Kristen Marani.
“We are definitely going to miss those nine seniors,” Pinner said. “There was a lot of leadership out of those kids and a lot of experience. They were all around a great group of girls to coach all year.”