Madison Heights Madison senior Ariane Kendrick prepares  to serve Oct. 1 against Oak Park High. Earlier this year, the  Eagles won their first contest since the 2016 season.

Madison Heights Madison senior Ariane Kendrick prepares to serve Oct. 1 against Oak Park High. Earlier this year, the Eagles won their first contest since the 2016 season.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Madison volleyball showing improvement

By: Mark Vest | Madison - Park News | Published October 4, 2019

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MADISON HEIGHTS — Although a quick glance at Madison Heights Madison’s volleyball record isn’t likely to impress many people, earlier this year the Eagles accomplished something that hadn’t occurred in the program for quite a while.

When Madison beat Eastpointe High Sept. 23, it was the program’s first victory since the 2016 season.

After going 0-25 the previous two seasons, at press time the Eagles were 2-5 overall and 2-2 in the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division.

“For the past four years, we’ve been trying to rebuild the program, that just through circumstances had gotten away from us,” said coach Duane Nelson. “This is probably one of the better teams we’ve had the past four years. … Got a lot (of) room to grow, still. But the girls have it within them to grow.”

Although victories have been hard to come by for Madison over the years, circumstances have played a role in the program’s struggles.

“The challenges would be our numbers,” Nelson said. “Because we’re a smaller school, we don’t have often the ability to pick from a large group. … That’s probably my biggest challenge. One of the things as a head coach that I need to do, being head of the program, is I need to bring it a little bit deeper into the school system. So, I need to run the elementary school clinics and the middle school clinics.”

Despite things not always going the way the Eagles would like to on the court, sometimes victories can come in other ways.

“I want our girls to exemplify the best sportsmanship out there,” Nelson said. “They play as well as they can play and leave it all on the court, and they walk away with their heads held high because they left it all on the court. … We got the sportsmanship award last year for our division. Sometimes you think that’s a throwaway award. Last year, just the way the coaches came up to me at the meeting, it wasn’t a throwaway award; they really meant it.”

As for what happens on the court, Nelson has other aspirations for Madison’s program.

“From where we’ve been the last couple years, first short-term goal for this year for varsity would be a .500 season,” he said. “And the girls are (going to) have to push through to get that .500 season. And I would like us to take one district game.”

Nelson said Madison’s program is “still rebuilding.”

He said there are nine players on this year’s varsity team and 11 on JV.

“I think we’re making headway,” Nelson said. “I think next year’s (going to) be a little bit of a challenge because I am losing my three captains and two other girls. So, I’m losing five seniors.”

Up next, Madison plays at 5 p.m. Oct. 15 at Warren Fitzgerald.

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