Source: Sherman Publications

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Season ends for Dragon volleyballers

by Gabriel L. Ouzounian

November 07, 2012

Junior Kayla Rockey spikes a ball over Oxford Wildcat players’ heads. Photo by D. Shriner
The season is over for the volleyball Dragons.

After leading Clarkston two games to one at the district final championship on Saturday in Romeo, the Wolves edged Orion in game four by a narrow margin of 25-23.

From there, the Wolves won the fifth game to knock Orion out of the playoff run.

Despite recent injury-related problems, Orion Coach Ross Talbot said Clarkston showed up to win that night.

"Our defense struggled, our serve receive struggled and we didn't serve as tough as we should have," he said. "We were serving pretty easy and not going after returns. We loosened up on our serves to bring them in but they stepped it up.

"We had expectations. We wanted to go back to Battle Creek, but it's always going to be one point here or there and that's what happened in game four. They scored in the critical times and we didn't. They did the same thing at the OAA Red championship."

Ross often speaks highly of his team and their depth, and the competition that night agreed.

Clarkston Head Coach Kelly Avenall wishes Clarkston and Orion were in different districts, because, as she said, the set-up only allows one good team to go on to a playoff run.

"It's unfortunate we're in the same district, she said. "Talbot contacted me this summer and said we were going to be in the same district and I knew they were going to be good this year. We have been performing well too and I think it is an unfortunate thing for one out of two good teams to go out early this year. I give them all credit - they are a great team, they play hard, they play defensively and they gave us a great battle.

"That's how you want a district battle to be. Tooth-and-nail to the very end."

This year marks Talbot's first year as the head coach of the varsity team at Lake Orion. While he coaches club teams during the offseason, he said coaching varsity taught him the most.

"I learned a lot that will help me in the program," he said. "Even though I coached 26 teams in the past season, I think I learned the most this year. It's much different than any JV or club teams I coached. Hopefully it will make me better for the future and hopefully we can make it deeper in the postseason next year."

The team finished 45-18 this year.