Wolves bring down Dragons at Oxford tournament

BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Spikers avenged their earlier losses to Lake Orion and Oxford during the Wildcats tournament on Saturday.
“It was a good day for us,” said Clarkston Varsity Volleyball Head Coach Kelly Pinner.
The Wolves defeated Oxford in the semifinals and went on to beat the Dragons in the championship game.
“It was nice a week and a half later to turn around and be able to beat them,” Pinner said. “It’s definitely a confidence booster for the girls.”
She added a few things have changed since the season opening quad at Notre Dame Prep where they lost to Lake Orion and Oxford.

The Clarkston Varsity Volleyball team celebrates winning the Oxford tournament on Saturday. Photo provided

“They are now comfortable with our line up, we changed some things around and figuring out what works best for us,” Pinner said. “Yesterday we found some good line ups and some good things that are working.”
Summer Jidas had 12 aces and 42 digs during the day. Jordan Newblatt had five aces and 42 kills and Claire Nowicki had 35 kills and 32 digs.
“Our sophomore middle Elizabeth Adams really stepped up in her blocking game,” Pinner said.
Adams had 12 blocks for the day.
Pinner added highlights from the tournament included using all of the hitters.
“We aren’t a one-dimensional team,” she said. “We have a lot of girls who can attack. I think that keeps our opponents on their toes. Claire and Jordan are both playing really well. Hannah Cady is playing really well.”
The Wolves also defeated Oxford in the Flushing quad on Sept. 3, beating them in three games. Clarkston won the first game 26-24. Then, lost the second game 25-21 before taking the third one 15-7.
“We have played them three times now,” Pinner said. “I think it was huge for us to turn around and be able to beat them.”
They went on to win their round against North Branch in two games, 25-11 and 25-20. Then, lost to Flushing, 26-24 and 25-23.
“Flushing is a really good team,” Pinner said. “It was our last match of the day and I think we were a little fatigued, not trying to make excuses, but I definitely saw that out of us.”
Nowicki had 17 kills. Newblatt had 18 kills and five aces. Sydney Hasenfratz had 13 kills and three blocks. Jidas had five aces and 35 digs.
“Overall it was a good night,” Pinner said. “We played well. Different hitters are stepping up when we need them. Our defense is outstanding.”
The Wolves opened the week hosting a quad on Tuesday against Saline, Lakeland and Rochester Adams.
“The girls are pretty excited to be home finally,” Pinner said. “We have been on the road for a little bit. It’s going to be a very competitive quad.”
They head to a tournament on Saturday at Novi High School.
“We have a pretty solid pool,” said Pinner. “Ann Arbor Skyline, which is going to be outstanding this year; Brighton, who has an amazing setter, and Plymouth.”