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Spikers rule the court

August 31, 2011 - The Lady Wolves have already pulled out their aces for the beginning of the season with huge wins.

They opened the season at the Fenton Quad on Aug. 23 and beat three teams - Brighton, 25-15 in two games, Davison, 25-16 and 25-19, and Fenton, 25-13 and 25-17.

"It went really well," said Clarkston Girls Varsity Volleyball Coach Kelly Avenall. "The biggest thing, and I told them, there were a lot of question marks as how we were going to come back this year after losing seven pretty good seniors. It was good to come out with a really great start."

The team has five returners from last year's MHSAA Regional Championship team and Avenall has seen a lot of standouts from this year's newest players including sophomore setter Brianna Frakes.

"She surpassed all my expectations," said Avenall. "She is going to be a good player in the next couple of years. She is smart and she hustles."

Junior Kaley Konjarevich returns from last year and will see more time on the court as a starter and had 18 kills in the team's first set of victories.

"She had a great night at the Fenton Quad," said Avenall. "She opened up a lot of eyes. We are looking forward to getting a good season out of her."

Senior Maddie Lightfoot had 34 digs, senior Stephanie Marani had 18 kills and eight blocks, and junior Rachel Dickerson had 16 kills.

The team won seven matches at the Marysville Invitational on Saturday. They beat Port Huron in the championship round, 25-18 and 25-13.

The JV team and freshman team also won their tournaments. JV beat Fenton in Flushing and the freshman beat Oxford.

"It is a trifecta for the program," said Avenall.

The varsity team heads to Flushing on Tuesday and took on Flushing, Oxford and North Branch.

"North Branch is always a tough team," said Avenall. "They are Class B but they are top ranked and have won the state championship a few times in the last ten years. They are going to give us a good challenge."

They are also looking forward to playing Oxford, the team moved into Clarkston's division this year. Avenall added this year's team will be fun to watch.

"We have a young team and it is a completely different dynamic than last year," she said. "Last year we were working with chemistry and this year it is fun because their learning curve is huge. They have room for improvement and they are like sponges soaking it up."

The goal for the season is to win the OAA Red league, which play begins in September, and return to the MHSAA Quarterfinals.

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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