Clawson High senior Layla Clingman prepares to spike the ball Nov. 1 in a Division 1 district tournament match. Trojans coach Tim Wing called Clingman a leader on the team due to her ability to fire the team up during a slump.

Clawson High senior Layla Clingman prepares to spike the ball Nov. 1 in a Division 1 district tournament match. Trojans coach Tim Wing called Clingman a leader on the team due to her ability to fire the team up during a slump.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Curtain closes on Clawson High volleyball season in district round

By: Jacob Herbert | Royal Oak Review | Published November 7, 2018

 Trojans freshman Aliyah Vesper sets the ball for Alex Verner in a recent playoff match against Madison Heights Lamphere. Verner finished the match with seven kills, 10 digs and four blocks. Vesper recorded 12 assists, 17 digs, four blocks, three kills and two aces in the loss.

Trojans freshman Aliyah Vesper sets the ball for Alex Verner in a recent playoff match against Madison Heights Lamphere. Verner finished the match with seven kills, 10 digs and four blocks. Vesper recorded 12 assists, 17 digs, four blocks, three kills and two aces in the loss.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

CLAWSON -- The Clawson High volleyball team saw its season come to an end Nov. 1 in its opening round of a Division 2 district tournament. The Trojans fell in three games to Madison Heights Lamphere. 

Clawson finished the season at 13-13-1 overall and 8-2 in the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division.

“We came out more fired up than I honestly expected tonight. That was quite something to see,” Clawson coach Tim Wing said. “Every time we play them (Lamphere), we just want it that much more, so I know the girls are feeling it right now. They’re upset that it ended like this, but there’s no reason to me to be upset, because that might have been, out of all five matches we’ve played (against Lamphere), the best that they gave.”

The first set could have gone either way, as the teams essentially traded points each volley. Lamphere squeezed by in that set, winning 27-25. 

Clawson jumped out to a significant lead in the second set but was unable to stop a Lamphere rally and would go on to drop the set 25-9. Momentum from there on out was in full force for the Rams, as they took the third set 25-12 to move on to the district final.

“We have been known to be streaky at times,” Wing said. “We almost went point-for-point in that first set. Then we went five and we gave up five. It’s tough because when I played volleyball, I always wanted the next ball. I know these girls want that same mentality, but our focus just seems to (taper) off sometimes.”

Despite the loss, Wing calls the season an “absolute success.” The Trojans finished 7-3 last year in the Silver Division. Wing said the division got tougher from last year to this year, so this year’s total of eight wins means more than last year’s seven.

Wing said his seniors stepped up in a big way this year, especially senior captains Faith Brown and Layla Clingman. Brown had 13 assists in the match against Lamphere, and Clingman recorded 11 kills and seven assists. 

According to the coach, Brown represented the calming voice for the team, while Clingman played the energizing role and fired up the team if need be.

“We can see it in both their eyes tonight, as seniors, this is not the way that we planned to go,” Wing said. “But for them to at least show that emotion is a good sign for me, because I know that they really wanted to be here.”

The varsity team is going to look relatively different heading into next season, as the Trojans are set to graduate five seniors. Wing feels the team will cease to miss a step due to its offseason regimen.

“Depending on how we organize the league next year, it’s going to be another tough conference,” Wing said. “I don’t want to spoil anything, but I really want to say, with the incoming players that we’ll have on varsity, we should be the team to beat.”

In other local volleyball news:

Royal Oak High was defeated in three sets by Birmingham Groves in a D-1 district Oct. 31.

In D-3, Royal Oak Shrine lost in a district final to Madison Heights Bishop Foley in four games.