BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Spikers headed into their first week in league play with experience under their belt.
The Clarkston Varsity Volleyball team went 7-1 last week after going undefeated in a quad and making it to the semifinals at the Novi tournament on Saturday.
“We had a good day,” said Kelly Pinner, head coach, adding they went 4-1 and lost to Lake Orion. “They ended up winning the tournament against Novi, which is two-time state champs. We don’t like losing to Lake Orion because we know they are in our league and we are going to see them in districts. There are some things we need to figure out in the next 4-6 weeks to hopefully get them when it counts.”
The Lady Wolves opened the tournament with wins over Birmingham Seaholm, 25-8, 25-15; and Livonia Stevenson, 25-15, 25-15; and Brighton, 26-27, 25-18, 15-12, in pool play.
“Brighton played us really tough,” Pinner added.
They went into the gold bracket playoffs where they defeated Grand Haven in the quarterfinals, 25-11 and 25-18, before losing to Lake Orion 25-16, 25-20.
Pinner added playing tough competition like Grand Haven, Brighton and Orion will help the team.
“It keeps making us better as we go into our league play this week. I think we definitely have some good matches under our belt this week. It’s going to help us as we play tougher competition in the league,” she said.
Senior Abbey Malinowski had 56 kills, 20 digs and four aces for the day. Senior Jen Chupinsky had two aces and 48 digs; senior Grace Kraft five aces and 119 assists; and senior Corrin Gualtieri had 12 kills, two aces and four blocks.
The Lady Wolves went 3-0 at a quad at Oxford. They defeated the hosts 25-16 and 25-10. They also defeated Flushing 25-12, 25-11 and gave North Branch their first loss of the season, 25-16, 25-14.
“Our toughest competition was North Branch,” said Pinner. “They have been rolling through some teams. It was a good match against them. It was a good night for us.”
Malinowski had 31 kills, two blocks and 22 digs; and Chupinsky had ten aces and 19 digs.
The Lady Wolves opened the week on Tuesday against Troy Athens in their first home match and first OAA Red match. They head to Troy on Thursday.
“They both have solid teams,” Pinner said. “We have not seen Troy this year. We played Athens in pool play at a tournament and they have gotten better. I think we are going to see a different team on Tuesday.”
Clarkston heads to the Mercy tournament at MI Elite in Warren on Saturday.
“We haven’t played in it before. There’s going to be solid competition,” Pinner said, adding they picked up the tournament since Beast of the East is held during homecoming weekend and they won’t be able to play in it. “I am looking forward to it.”
The girls are home against Stoney Creek on Tuesday. JV begins at 5:30 p.m., varsity follows.
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The Freshman and JV volleyball teams teams also went 3-0 in their quads this week.
The JV team defeated Seaholm, 25-16, 25-10; Oxford, 25-10, 25-20; and Marian, 25-14, 25-14, on September 5.
The freshman team defeated Marian in two games on Thursday. 25-13 and 25-15. They lost one game against Oxford and Seaholm but won the two against their opponents. Against Oxford they went 25-9, 20-25, 15-9; and against Seaholm, 23-25, 25-10, 15-9.
BY WENDI REARDON PRICE