BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
It was a big night for Clarkston’s spikers as they took a win over league foes and raised money for University of Michigan Research Center.
The Clarkston Varsity Volleyball team served Stoney Creek their first league loss in years in four games as the Wolves won 3-1.
“It was a huge win for us,” said Kelly Pinner, head coach, adding winning the Northville tournament helped boost the team before the match. “It gave us a lot of confidence. We beat some big teams. We started out rough. We are starting to figure things out. The mindset right now is I think we are playing very well.”
Clarkston opened the first game with the first two points and the Cougars closed in before taking a 3-point lead, 11-8.
The Wolves took the lead back a few times off hits from senior Jordan Newblatt, junior Claire Nowicki and junior Sydney Hasenfratz.
The score hit 24-24 and Hasenfratz pulled Clarkston into to lead with the next point before the won on the next point they needed when the ball went out, 26-24.
The Wolves were off to a quick lead in the second game with the first two points off serves from Nowicki. Hits from Newblatt and Nowicki and a block from Hasenfratz and senior Hannah Cady put the team up 6-1 before Stoney Creek called a time out.
Nowicki scored the final point for a 25-20 win off her block.
The Cougars won the next game 25-18 after gaining the lead and holding onto it for the win.
The close battle continued in the fourth game until points from a block from Cady and sophomore Elizabeth Adams and a hit from Newblatt helped the Wolves pull into the lead for the 25-22 win.
The Wolves headed into the match ranked No. 7 in the state with Stoney Creek ranked as sixth and both were undefeated in the league which is one of the toughest leagues in the state.
“You could tell they were gassed, both sides were gassed, but league matches are probably are best preparation for playoffs,” she said. “You aren’t going to play a 5-game set other than a league match. It definitely helps us prepare down the stretch. We have a great league, as everyone knows. It helps prepare us all season long to play these teams.”
Nowicki had 20 kills, 15 digs and two aces for the night
“Hopefully she starts emerging a little bit more,” Pinner said. “She is only a junior but she has played for us her entire career. If we continue to do what we are doing, she will definitely be on everyone’s radar.”
Newblatt had 16 kills and 13 digs.
“Jordan is doing a good job for us, too,” Pinner added.
Hasenfratz had five kills and six blocks. Sophomore Summer Jidas has 18 digs and senior Skyelar Jidas had 13 digs. Junior Shay Bordine had 46 assists.
The Wolves head to Lake Orion this Thursday, JV plays at 5:30 p.m., varsity follows.
“We have already seen Orion twice and we split with them,” Pinner said. “The first time we lost to them it was the first match of the season, and we weren’t firing on all cyclinders at that point. We were still figuring things out. This definitely gives us a confidence boost.”
They are back home when they host Rochester Adams on October 15.