South Lake volleyball coach proud of his team

By: Jason Carmel Davis | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published November 15, 2018

 St. Clair Shores South Lake senior Avery Salvia goes for a kill in a Nov. 6 regional semifinal win over Ferndale High. The Cavaliers won a third straight Division 2 district championship before falling in the regional final.

St. Clair Shores South Lake senior Avery Salvia goes for a kill in a Nov. 6 regional semifinal win over Ferndale High. The Cavaliers won a third straight Division 2 district championship before falling in the regional final.

Photo by Brian Sevald

 St. Clair Shores South Lake volleyball coach Chris Blair cheers on his team during a Nov. 6 regional semifinal win over Ferndale High.

St. Clair Shores South Lake volleyball coach Chris Blair cheers on his team during a Nov. 6 regional semifinal win over Ferndale High.

Photo by Brian Sevald

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — After leading the St. Clair Shores South Lake volleyball team to the Division 2 regional round for a third straight year, coach Chris Blair has a clear goal for the future.

“I truly hope that South Lake gets a chance to play (in the state finals) one time before my coaching career comes to an end,” Blair said.

The Cavaliers will have to wait at least one more year before that possibility, as the team fell 3-2 to Detroit Communications and Media Art Nov. 8 in a regional final.

South Lake ended the season at 33-35-1. The team finished third in the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division.

“The girls gave it their all and accomplished so much this season,” Blair said. “We finished third in the MAC Silver, which is the highest we’ve finished in the league in four years. We won a third straight district title and were the MAC Silver Sportsmanship Award winners for the fourth straight year. Hopefully, all of the ladies can take all of the developments made from volleyball and apply it to real-life situations.”

The Cavaliers this season, Blair said, were aided by a lack of injuries. What helped the team prepare for a strong playoff run was a strong record in five-game matches. South Lake went 4-1 in those contests.

“I am so very proud of the way the girls battled this season,” Blair said. “We were able to win some games against teams in higher divisions this year, such as St. Clair Shores Lake Shore and Warren Woods Tower. It may have only been one game in a match, but it gave my girls confidence and made them want to play harder because of the jubilation they felt.”

It will essentially be a new cast of characters next season that tries to push the Cavaliers to a fourth straight district title. The team loses six players to graduation, including standouts Lilly Crachiola, Avery Salvia and Marcayla Armstrong.

Blair said he expects junior Mya Perron to lead the way in 2019, along with sophomore Anyah McClain.

“The outlook and future of the Cavaliers volleyball program is looking bright,” Blair said. “We have solid seventh- and eighth-grade coaches in place. Our JV coach, Bethany Wieske, was a player for me and a college athlete.

“I’m really hoping our past successes leads to the opportunity to have a freshman team and girls from other sports wanting to come play this awesome sport.”

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