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September 4, 2013

Clintondale volleyball coach optimistic about team’s prospects

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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Clintondale volleyball coach optimistic about team’s prospects
The Clinton Township Clintondale volleyball team next hits the floor for a matchup against East Detroit at 6 p.m. Sept. 10 at Clintondale. Pictured is Dragons sophomore Summer Cogghe during the 2013 Macomb County Kickoff Classic, which took place Aug. 23 at the Blue Water Sports Complex in Warren.

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — The Clinton Township Clintondale volleyball team started the 2013 campaign with a tough test — facing a number of Michigan High School Athletic Association Class A teams in the 2013 Macomb County Kickoff Classic Aug. 23 at the Blue Water Sports Complex in Warren.

The Dragons (0-0 at press time) hung tough against teams such as Warren Cousino and East Detroit, according to coach Michelle VanCamp. She said that effort, even though her team fell short in each match, shows the growth of her team after going 4-22 in 2012.

“They got a lot better as the day went along,” VanCamp said. “Seeing that, and the strong efforts they gave throughout the day, made me happy.”

VanCamp said she sees this year’s group improving as the season goes along due to a strong work ethic and want to get better. Clintondale’s roster is made up of 11 players — five seniors, four juniors and two sophomores.

The Dragons’ coach said she’s looking to senior captain Jeana Fuller to lead the group. VanCamp said she’s also counting on getting solid play from junior Kalleigh Mathison and senior Tynika Carson.

“We’ve got a lot of girls who want to be really good,” VanCamp said.

VanCamp said she sees hitting and defense as being the strengths of the squad. She said she feels defense is the soul of the game.

“If you play strong defense, you can go far,” VanCamp said.

The Clintondale coach said the group would need to work on its communication and transition play if it wants to have success over the course of the regular season and in the MHSAA Class B state playoffs, which begin Nov. 4 with district play. The Dragons are in a Class B district to be played at Center Line High, with Center Line, St. Clair Shores South Lake, Warren Lincoln, Detroit Southeastern and Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy.

VanCamp said she believes her group can sustain success in the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division and in the postseason.

“I feel like we should finish well — in our league and in the playoffs,” VanCamp said. “We should be able to compete with everyone in our league. And a lot of the teams in our district, we’ll see them in the regular season, so we’ll know what we’re up against come the playoffs.”

Clintondale next hits the court for a home matchup against East Detroit, set for 6 p.m. Sept. 10.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.