Source: Sherman Publications

Lady Dragon spikers take down Adams, Rochester

by Gabriel L. Ouzounian

November 09, 2011

The Lake Orion girls’ volleyball team continued its post-season winning streak Nov. 5 with a victory against the Falcons of Rochester High School.

The win, on Rochester’s home court, gave Lake Orion the district title.

Each of the three games, all less than 7 points apart, started very evenly. More than once, a team would pull ahead by multiple points only, only to see the opponent swing the momentum its way and tie the score.

But Lake Orion’s girls proved they wanted the victory more, capturing the title by the scores of 25-18, 25-21, 25-18.

“Our first contact was off,” Head Coach Robert Howey said. “They served tough and we struggled on our serve receive, but out hitters were smart.”

Seniors Liz Kaluger and Shannon Murdock led the Dragons’ kills, with 10 and 8, respectively. Senior Dana Schrauben had 17 assists while senior Gwen Motley had 12. Senior Maddie Hutchison and Murdock both had 14 digs, with Kaluger adding 13.

Murdock had four aces.

The girls preceded their win against Rochester with a victory against Rochester Adams on Nov. 3. That match was significantly less close, with Lake Orion scoring 25-11 and 25-10 wins in the first two games, then out-dueling the Highlanders, 25-23, in the third game. Howey said the win indicated the team was beginning to “peak” again.

“Earlier in the year, we were ranked as high as number three in the state, but then we had a couple losses at a tournament and lost the league title to Clarkston - we were not at our best,” Howey said. “Against Adams, our energy level was very high in those first two games, but the other team came out fighting and didn’t want to go down in that third game.

“Still, it feels good to be back on track and where we need to be.”

On Nov. 3, Kaluger and junior Sophie Murdock both recorded nine kills, with Shannon Murdock scoring eight. Hutchison made a whopping 20 digs, while Motley and Schrauben each had 14 assists. Senior Angelica LeDonne had 5 blocks.

Howey mentioned Sophie Murdock in particular as a team member who had come a long way from the beginning of the season.

“She’s hard to stop right now,” he said. “She’s a middle, she hits really hard and a lot of teams aren’t used to seeing a middle do that.”

Next up for the Dragons is the regional competition, to be played at Lake Orion. They start with a match against Marion on Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. Lake Orion’s record is 50-12, and Howey said the girls are looking forward to the match against their season-long rivals.

“We’re ready, and they’ll be fired up,” he promised.