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Athletes of The Week


Ace-ing the season



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The Lady Wolves celebrate winning their fifth consecutive MHSAA District title, Nov. 3. Photo by Larry Wright (click for larger version)
November 30, 2011 - Spikers rewrote the history books during their 2011 fall season - making it into the Final Four in the run for the MHSAA Volleyball State Championship.

Their run at the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek ended to Lake Orion, Nov. 17 but their journey was spectacular. They won the OAA Red league, their fifth consecutive MHSAA District crown and their second consecutive MHSAA Regional crown.

They had fans on their edge of their seats as the Spikers won a close fifth game against Canton to win 16-14, to take the Quarterfinals win with 3-2.

"It was an epic season," said Clarkston Girls Varsity Volleyball Coach Kelly Avenall.

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"These girls are amazing. They made some awesome memories, friends and experience. A lot of people are giving us a lot more credit especially after this year.They made a name in the state for our program. I am proud of them."

When the team lost seven seniors last year, Avenall admitted she would be happy with what the new players could bring to the court.

Then, the Lady Wolves opened the season with 25 wins and a possibility anything could happen.

"This team has mental game," explained Avenall during the season. "The girls mold better together. When we make a mistake or lose a point you don't see it on anyone's face. You see 'okay, my teammate made a mistake I am going to step up and work harder for them.' It is why we have won so many tight matches - they just step up.

The 2011 Lady Wolves are: sophomores, Katie Chadwell, Franzi Loetzner, Brianna Frakes; juniors, Courtney Blaszkowski, Sarah Bullen, Rachel Dickerson, Brooke Huisman, Kaley Konjarevich, Emily Popp; seniors Stephani Marani, Angela Niezgoda and Maddie Lightfoot.

"We are going to miss them," said Avenall about Marani, Niezgoda and Lightfoot. "I am going to miss them. They are the first group I coached in eighth grade. Maddie has been coming to camp since she was a little kid."

Congratulations on a great season and finishing with an overall 56-6 record.

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.
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