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Shelby Township, Utica

October 9, 2012

Ike volleyball team looks to stay top MAC Blue standings

By Jon Malavolti
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Utica Eisenhower’s Meghan Kennelly spikes the ball during a competition earlier this season. At press time, the Eagles were in first place in the MAC Blue Division halfway through league play.

At the halfway point of the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division season, Utica Eisenhower’s volleyball team was in unfamiliar territory.

First place.

For the past several years, the Eagles have routinely found themselves in the middle of the division. But things are different this season, and the team is hoping things stay that way.

“It is a goal we set early in the season, and we are going to continue to fight to protect that,” Ike coach Caitlin Maloney said about being in first place. “We also need to continue to improve as we move closer to districts and the state tournament.”

At press time, the Eagles were 6-0 in the MAC Blue, holding a one-game lead over Sterling Heights High (5-1). Following in the standings are Warren Woods Tower (3-3), Port Huron (2-3), Warren Mott (1-3) and Utica High (0-6).

Ike is scheduled to host Sterling at 7 p.m. Oct. 18 in the second of the squads’ scheduled division meetings. The Eagles won the first match, sweeping all three games Sept. 27 at Sterling.

The squad is winning thanks to several strengths, including its versatility, along with a little luck.

“We have had the ability to come from a deficit in games and gain the lead, and keep our composure and focus quite well when we have been down by three or four points,” Maloney said. “We have a lot of options for hitters and always do well taking advantage of them.”

While many things have gone Ike’s way so far, the coach noted there’s plenty of room for improvement, including “taking the lead from the start in our games, passing and running a quicker offense.”

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