Athens falls in regionals after OAA White championship

By: Timothy Pontzer | Troy Times | Published November 15, 2016

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TROY — Troy Athens volleyball saw its season come to a close with a 3-0 loss to Sterling Heights Stevenson on Nov. 8. The match opened the regional round of the playoffs, the second straight season the Red Hawks had reached that point.

“This just wasn’t our night,” Athens coach Christine Stanichuk said. “But our girls have no reason to hold their heads down. We had an awesome year. We were a win away tonight from getting further than any team in Athens history. I’m proud of those girls and how they battled all year.”

The Red Hawks won the Oakland Activities Association White Division crown, sporting an undefeated mark in league play.

“We’ve had such a great season, and we’ve been in high spirits all year long, and we’ve handled ourselves with grace and dignity all season long with all the big wins we’ve had,” Stanichuk said. “This is where, regardless of the outcome tonight, we still hold our heads high.”

Stanichuk highlighted her squad’s Sept. 20 sweep against Troy High, the first time Athens had defeated its crosstown rival since 2012.

“I’m so proud of my team; they beat Troy and are city champs,” Stanichuk said. “That win alone made our season.”

With eight of the 14 varsity players graduating, Stanichuk hopes that her seniors look back at this season with pride.

“This is such a close group of girls that totally reflects it out on the court. They have worked hard all season long, and no matter how tough the situation looked for this team, they believed,” Stanichuk said. “They have worked so hard and played great all season long, and they have so much to be proud of. I told them that years from now, when you step back into the Athens gym one day and look up at the volleyball flag on the wall, you’ll see 2016 under league and district champs, and you can say, ‘That was my great team; we did that.’”

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