St. Clair Shores Lakeview volleyball players huddle up during an Aug. 17 match. Senior Grace Allor (8) leads the team despite losing her mother in July. The Huskies have a chance at their fourth straight 30-win campaign.

St. Clair Shores Lakeview volleyball players huddle up during an Aug. 17 match. Senior Grace Allor (8) leads the team despite losing her mother in July. The Huskies have a chance at their fourth straight 30-win campaign.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Lakeview volleyball player, Allor, leading the way despite tragedy

By: Jason Carmel Davis | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published August 24, 2018

 St. Clair Shores Lakeview volleyball coach Tom Pfeifer talks with his team during an Aug. 17 match. The Huskies will play in a quad match set for 4:30 p.m. Aug. 30 at home.

St. Clair Shores Lakeview volleyball coach Tom Pfeifer talks with his team during an Aug. 17 match. The Huskies will play in a quad match set for 4:30 p.m. Aug. 30 at home.

Photo by Donna Agusti

ST. CLAIR SHORES — The St. Clair Shores Lakeview volleyball team opened the season Aug. 17 with multiple matches as part of the Macomb Area Conference Volleyball Kickoff Tournament.

The tournament took place at Macomb Dakota, and observers could see several players from other teams embracing Huskies senior outside hitter Grace Allor at various moments.

Allor, according to Lakeview coach Tom Pfeifer, is the team’s standout, but the love she received has nothing to do with Allor’s exploits on the court.

Earlier this summer, Allor lost her biggest supporter. Her mother, Laurel, died of cancer in July. Because of the support system she has around her, Allor is forging on, including as a volleyball player.

“Playing kind of takes my mind off of it for a little bit,” she said. “I know she’d want me to play too. She was always at all of our games. My mom really was my biggest fan.”

Despite all she has on her mind, Allor’s play hasn’t waned. 

Pfeifer said Allor can do it all on the court. That includes leading the team.

“(Allor) is like a rock,” said Pfeifer, who has led the Huskies to 113 wins the last three seasons. “She’s stayed dedicated to this team — even when she didn’t have to. 

“The fact that Grace has stayed with the team and been such a strong presence — that’s probably the most remarkable thing I’ve seen in 20 years of coaching.”

The team has dedicated the season to Allor’s mother. Lakeview will wear commemorative ankle bracelets in her honor. To help Allor following her mother’s passing, her teammates made it a point to spend every day with her.

Allor hopes to have a season to remember in honoring her mother. She is excited about the campaign and believes the team can have another solid season.

“We just have to be disciplined and put in the time it takes to be a good team,” Allor said.

The Huskies are young, Pfeifer said, but very good. The coach hopes the team can build off the program’s recent success. 

Despite the youth, Lakeview this summer finished second out of 30 teams in a tournament hosted by Ferris State University.

“We’ve got some talent,” Pfeifer said. “To see how they played this summer, you can see there’s something there.”

In the MAC Kickoff Tournament, the team’s youth showed early in matches against veteran-led teams like New Baltimore Anchor Bay and Sterling Heights Stevenson. Lakeview bounced back and had a solid showing, Pfeifer observed.

“Playing in a tournament like this at the start of the season shows you what you need to work on, and it can help a team build some confidence,” Pfeifer said. “I think we have the potential to have a pretty good year.”

As the team embarks on what they hope is a “pretty good year,” the Huskies know one person will be rooting especially hard for them.

“I know my mom is watching over me,” Allor said. “She’s with me in everything I do and volleyball has been no different. This year is for her.”

The Huskies next will play in a quad set for 4:30 p.m. Aug. 30 at home.