Queens of the district court
November 09, 2011 - Spikers claimed their fifth consecutive MHSAA District title after beating Fenton last Thursday, 3-1.
The Lady Wolves celebrate winning the MHSAA District title. Photo by Larry Wright (click for larger version)
The Lady Tigers opened the night with a tight 26-24 win in the first game and Clarkston answered with winning the next three 25-19, 25-16, 25-19.
"They were stronger than what we had thought," senior Stephanie Marani said. "But once we realized that we were able to step up and fight back."
"I was proud of the way my girls fought back," said Clarkston Girls Varsity Volleyball Coach Kelly Avenall. "I honestly felt like Fenton played an outstanding match against us. They are an outstanding defensive team and I knew that going in. As we were watching the district develop I told the girls you to watch them. They don't have a lot of holes. You have to stay patient. The first game they played smart against us. We made a lot of errors the first game, too. A couple kids that are young are still feeling the pressure playing scared."
The Lady Wolves opened the next game behind Fenton but captured the lead off a hit from junior Kaley Konjarevich, 6-5. Fenton found their footing to pull ahead and both teams tied three times before positioned 19-19. Sophomore Katie Chadwell broke the tie putting the girls, 20-19. Marani furthered the lead with a tap over the net, 21-19, then killed it moments later for the 25-19 win.
Clarkston positioned themselves in the lead in the third game until Fenton worked their way up to take a three point lead, 11-8.
Konjarevich had three hits to bring the girls up to 14-12 and the momentum grew as the Lady Wolves furthered the distance until they won 25-16.
"We played better defense," Avenall added about the change between the first game and the next two. "A lot of hits we just weren't catching in the first game. Every ball that drops is a point for them. Every single ball matters."
Marani had 17 kills and six blocks in the game. Konjarevich had 15 kills. Maddie Lightfoot had 35 digs.
Clarkston beat Grand Blanc in round two in playoffs, 3-0 (25-10, 28-26, 25-17) to boost the girls overall record 52-5. Frakes had 32 assists, five aces and four blocks. Marani had 11 kills and seven blocks and Rachel Dickerson had 12 kills and five blocks.
"Brianna has really come into her own just this week in playoffs," Avenall noted. "As a sophomore setter making that many contacts on the ball it is a pretty scary position to be in. She made some really good decisions and she had a great game against Grand Blanc. I am impressed with what she is doing and she will only get better. She is helping us a lot."
The girls played the first round of MHSAA Regionals on Tuesday against Flushing.
"Fenton was a good match for us," added Avenall going into regionals playoffs. "I feel like if it was a match we swept in three and beat them 25-10 and 25-11 it wouldn't have helped us at all. We need a team to challenge us and Fenton challenged us."
"It helped us with what we need to work on," said Marani. "It will help us be better prepared for regionals."
The winner from Tuesday moves on to play Thursday in the championship game, 7 p.m
Find out how Clarkston faired on Tuesday by checking the Wolfpack Update on www.ClarkstonNews.com or visiting The Clarkston News on Facebook..
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.