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November 7, 2012

Fraser bows out of volleyball playoffs

Ramblers improved throughout season, look ahead to future

By Jon Malavolti
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Fraser High’s Kazmira Eldaly (13) and Madison Speck (5) jump up to block the ball at the net while teammates Rachel Parus (4) and Victoria Vellucci (8) look on in the background during districts. The Ramblers fell in five games to L’Anse Creuse in a district semifinal.

Fraser High’s volleyball season came to an end during district play, as the team fell in five games to Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse Oct. 31 in a semifinal at Roseville High.

The Ramblers wrap up the year 22-21-1, and coach Melissa Criteser said the team has plenty of reasons not to hang its head.

“We had some great moments throughout the year,” she said.

“They have so much heart,” the coach continued. “They never gave up. The effort was always there. I couldn’t ask more from them.”

Criteser noted that the team’s biggest improvements came in communication and cohesiveness.

“They came together and played more as a team than six different girls on the court,” she said.

As for the team’s four seniors — Chelsea Owens, Hannah VanDerlinden, Kayla Belfiori and Kazmira Eldaly — Criteser said the group came into the season mostly inexperienced at the varsity level, but they left as proven leaders.

“They left an imprint on these  (underclassmen),” the coach said.

And as for the future, Criteser believes the program will be in good shape if the returning players apply the lessons learned from this season, especially the importance of mental toughness.

“Going into next year, I think this year the girls realized how being in the (Macomb Area Conference Red Division), you can never go into a match over confident. It’s all great competition; you can’t overlook anybody.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jon Malavolti at jmalavolti@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1040. Twitter Follow Jon on Twitter.