Harrison volleyball hopes for three in a row

By: Christian Davis | Farmington Press | Published September 22, 2015

 Farmington Hills Harrison’s Mikel Coleman rises for a shot against Berkley High Sept. 17 on the road. The Hawks won in three games.

Farmington Hills Harrison’s Mikel Coleman rises for a shot against Berkley High Sept. 17 on the road. The Hawks won in three games.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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Farmington Hills Harrison volleyball has started where it left off last season.

The Hawks were 11-3 at press time and 1-0 in the Oakland Activities Association White Division, which they’ve won the past two seasons.

“For having a lot of new faces from our JV and starting a freshman, I think we’re doing pretty well,” third-year coach Michael Love said.

The coach said his team’s biggest strength has been its chemistry.

“It takes time to build and play as one core, but our returning players made it easier for the new players that are starting. They feel comfortable,” Love said.

In all, Harrison has won 24 games and lost seven. Mikel Coleman and Stefanie Jankiewicz lead the way offensively, both averaging around four kills per game. Madison Ruffin averages 4.7 assists per contest.

Love said his style on the court hasn’t changed in his three seasons and that he likes a fast pace of play.

“When you can get a team on their heels, it makes it a lot easier for your offense to run plays,” he said. “You don’t always have to attack on the third touch — you can attack with the second.”

Defensively, Coleman has 27 blocks, Jessica Hrutkay has tallied 23 and Hankins has 20 as the top three on the team. Brooke Russ averages 3.9 digs per game.

Love said his team’s weakness is sometimes playing to a lower level than its capabilities depending on the team it’s facing.

“I think sometimes we do. … If we have a team not as good offensively or defensively, we tend to get lax in that area and make mistakes,” he said. “I tell them that regardless if we’re playing the best team in the nation or the worst team in the state, we have to play with the same intensity and not let anything get to our heads.”

During Love’s tenure, the Hawks are 64-24. The goal this season is to once again take top honors in the division, which includes Auburn Hills Avondale, Birmingham Groves, West Bloomfield High, Rochester High, Farmington High, Troy Athens and Berkley High.

“Our biggest competition in the White is probably West Bloomfield. After seeing them play at their invitational, they definitely have a solid team,” he said. “It’s still going to be a challenge, but I think we can come out and win the White for a third year in a row.”

The Hawks and West Bloomfield play Oct. 13 at Harrison, but first, catch them against Rochester at 7 p.m. Sept. 24 at home.

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