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Lady Wolves finish their last set

November 24, 2010 - Spikers closed their season after they lost in the fourth game to Farmington Hills Mercy in the Class A Quarterfinals on Nov. 16.

"There was a little bit of disappointment," said Clarkston Girls Varsity Volleyball Coach Kelly Avenall. "Now after digesting it we had an amazing season."

The team finished as OAA Red champions, took their fourth consecutive district title and won their first regional title in 34 years. Plus they ended with an overall record 48-4-1.

"We have a lot to hang our hat on and be proud of," said Avenall. "I am happy about our season."

The Lady Wolves built a lead in the first game against Mercy and were two points from winning the set. Their opponents scored three points to tie the game at 24. Clarkston were unable to score and Mercy won the first set, 26-24.

"We let them sneak back in and it took a lot of air out of us," said Avenall.

The girls were behind only once in the second game and built momentum until a kill from Alexis Egler finished the game, 25-19.

"The loss was still lingering in their minds," Avenall said as the team went into their next two sets.

The Lady Wolves lost the next two sets, 25-17 and 25-18 to Mercy, ending 3-1.

Jessica Frakes and Stephanie Marani had 10 kills. Egler had six kills and Allison Reis added five kills. Haley Barker had four aces.

Marani added seven blocks to her season tally putting her at 174 blocks and breaking the 17-year-old record for the team of 132 blocks.

"The tough part about coaching varsity is no matter how successful you are - you are going to end with a loss unless you are state champs," Avenall added.

The team loses seven seniors to graduation - Egler, Frakes, Reis, Haley Barker, Aubrianna Curtis, Jamie Goryca and Megan McCarty.

"The seniors were amazing," said Avenall. "They are going to be missed by me and by the team."

She added she remembers something about every team. This year was no exception especially with the amount of talent and what the girls contributed.

"We were well-balanced," Avenall said for the team. "We didn't have one superstar - we had a lot of good players. During the previous years I had just as many good players but this year the life and enthusiasm helped us succeed.

Avenall noted the seniors helped bring that and passion to every game and practice.

"They brought that excitement and energy to our program," she said. "That is the legacy I hope they leave the younger girls."

The bonuses to the season were the players had fun and conquered the the regional playoffs by beating Davison and Flushing.

"We, as a program needed to get over that hurdle so they understand we are a good enough program," said Avenall. "If we play hard and work hard we can get to that level."

Another bonus was Wolves fans filled the stands during the games.

"As a Clarkston grad I was in awe and amazement how many people in the community came and supported us during the regionals and quarterfinals," said Avenall. "The girls were overwhelmed by that too. They would look up and see their classmates and people from the community - people they didn't even know were watching them. It is cool the community jumped on and became fans to."

The team has ten returners coming back next fall. Missed a highlight from the season? Check out www.ClarkstonNews.com.

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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