Strong start in league play

By Wendi Reardon Price
Clarkston News Sports Writer

Spikers knocked down two OAA Red opponents last week in play, ending the week with a 3-0 win over Stoney Creek.
“I am always happy to walk away with a win,” said Clarkston Varsity Volleyball Ali Smith after last Thursday’s win over the Cougars. “We could’ve executed a little better, but Stoney Creek played hard. They played great defense. They kept the ball in play. We did a pretty nice job.”
The Wolves opened the first set with two points from Cayla Cogan. Stoney Creek caught up and took the lead, 3-2. But the Wolves fought back, tying the game and then creating a distance in points, finishing with a 25-9 win.
“There were a couple balls we went out and chased way off the court and brought back in,” Smith said. “I loved to see our hustle and our commitment to not letting the ball die. Those were really good moments for us. It made me extra proud.”
Clarkston won the next set 25-21 and finished the night with 25-17 in the third set.
Cogan had 14 kills six digs and four blocks during the night. Paige Giehtbrock had 12 kills and seven digs and Monti Rotter had four aces.
Thursday was also a special night being one of their Childhood Cancer Awareness matches. For the night, special team captain was Carly Cogan, a sixth grader at Sashabaw Middle School.
“It was great to take a moment to honor her, have her as our honorary captain and just recognize the family and how challenging some of these things can be,” Smith said. “It was a special night for our team having Carly there and particularly her sister, who plays on the team.”
She added, “also bring to light to the community there is a huge shortage for blood and platelets for patients who are going through chemo. The American Red Cross is asking more people to donate.”
The Wolves opened the week with a 4-1 win over Lake Orion, Sept. 20.

Paige Giehtbrock readies for the ball in the second set against Stoney Creek last Thursday. Photo: Wendi Reardon Price

They won the first set, 25-17. Then, lost the second set, 25-23. They won the next two, 25-21 and 25-16.
“We played very well against Lake Orion,” said Smith. “Our serve pass game was really strong. We were able to focus on and execute our game plan quite well. I was proud of the way we competed.”
Cayla Cogan had 15 kills, Giehtbrock had nine kills and Isabelle Henry had eight kills. Ritter had six aces. Kuebler had 38 assists. Gallagher had 22 digs. Morgan Lozzi had eight digs and Mckenna Hampton had three blocks.
“Cayla had a great day,” Smith added. “Monti had a great match – excellent serving. Emery, our setter, is playing extremely well right now. She is crushing it. I am super proud of her.”
Clarkston (23-5, 2-0 OAA Red) hosts Rochester Adams on Thursday, beginning at 5:30 p.m. with JV.
“We have some lofty goals over the next week just to continue to get better,” Smith said, adding they need to execute like they did during this past week and keep focus throughout the entire match. “It’s really different to have to focus through a five-set match versus just winning two sets like we have been in these tournaments. We need to keep our focus throughout the entire match. I am optimistic about it.”
The Wolves scheduled match against Bloomfield Hills for October 4 has been moved to October 19. Clarkston heads to Oxford High School on Thursday, Oct. 6. JV plays at 5:30 p.m., varsity follows.

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