Volleyball

Published October 18, 2016

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Grosse Pointe South volleyball is going strong.

At press time, the Blue Devils were 20-8-1 overall and two games back of first place in the Macomb Area Conference White Division with a record of 5-2.

Head coach Kevin Nugent said South’s goals are to win the MAC White, along with district and regional titles.

Last season, South made it as far as the final game of a Class A regional tournament before being stopped by Livonia Churchill.

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Published October 14, 2016

Madison Heights Madison volleyball coach Michelle Stinson estimates that it has been at least 15 years since the program has won any kind of title.

As someone who has spent 30-plus years in the school district as a teacher and coach, she has a keen interest in changing that.
Stinson said winning a championship would be like putting a “cherry on the cake,” and she thinks that kind of accomplishment would benefit more than just her and her players.

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Published October 14, 2016

It could be a scary time for volleyball teams across the state later this month as the playoffs begin on Halloween.

That means a host of teams will have frightening endings to their 2016 campaigns, with district quarterfinals taking place Oct. 31.

The field will include all the teams from the Journal coverage area — Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse, Clinton Township Clintondale, Mount Clemens High and Macomb Lutheran North.

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Published October 13, 2016

WALLED LAKE — The Walled Lake Central volleyball team won its first-ever Kensington Lakes Activities Association North Division title in 2015.

The girls figured if once was nice, why not do it again?

Well, that’s precisely what the Vikings did in 2016.

“We knew the ability to do this was there,” second-year coach Sarah Lindstrom said. “But we also knew it wouldn’t be easy.”

Central went 10-0 in North Division play a year ago.

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Published October 11, 2016

FRASER — Fraser High volleyball coach Kim Argiri-Slone said that the program’s first goal for this season was to win one league match.

While that goal may seem almost too simple, given that the Ramblers have gone 0-30 over the last three seasons competing in the Macomb Area Conference Red Division and the MAC White, respectively, it is an understandable one.

Fraser has achieved that ambition, and then some, as at press time, the Ramblers were 5-1 in the MAC Blue and 10-12-1 overall.

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Published October 12, 2016

After a standout volleyball career at Macomb L’Anse Creuse North, Emily Nieman is continuing her craft on the court at Saginaw Valley State University.

“I am living my childhood dream of playing high-level NCAA ball while getting my teaching degree,” Nieman said. “I have to give a lot of credit to my high school coach, Gary Malburg. My experience at LCN really helped me prepare to play at the next level.”

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Published October 11, 2016

With the postseason drawing closer, Berkley High volleyball coach Chantelle Korson said things have been looking great for the Bears.

Berkley finished 5-2 in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division, finishing second behind Rochester High.

Helping to make Korson’s job easier is the continuity she has developed with her five seniors. Although Korson is in just her second year as varsity head coach, she previously led Berkley’s JV program, where she had the opportunity to work with her current seniors.

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Published October 6, 2016

With the playoffs drawing near, the volleyball teams from Madison Heights Bishop Foley and Madison Heights Lamphere have each enjoyed successful regular season campaigns.

At press time, Foley coach Megan Gignac estimated her team’s record to be 26-2-2 overall and 1-1 in the Catholic High School League AA Division.

Lamphere was 13-5 overall and 5-0 in the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division.

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Published October 4, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — Madison Heights Bishop Foley’s volleyball team protected its home court with a 3-0 win against Madison Heights Lamphere Oct. 4.

With the exception of one point, the Ventures never trailed Lamphere.

Foley won the first game 25-9, before following that up with victories of 25-7 and 25-15.

After going through some recent struggles, Foley coach Megan Gignac thinks the Ventures got their groove back.

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Published October 3, 2016

UTICA — After four straight division crowns, the Utica Eisenhower volleyball team earned a promotion to the Macomb Area Conference Red Division this season.

“The expectations always remain the same,” Eisenhower head coach Caitlin Maloney said. “We give 100 percent effort in everything we do and make sacrifices for the greater good of the team. With the move, we are hoping to continue to play strong and be a contender for that league championship, as well as make a deep playoff run.”

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Published September 29, 2016

TROY — The Troy High volleyball team had a tough campaign last season, failing to win a league game. As a result, the Colts were demoted from the Oakland Athletics Association Red to the White.

However, Troy is making the most of the situation this year, aiming to climb back into their old division.

“We want to win the White, and we plan on moving back up next season,” junior Kelsey Moeller said. “This team is a very close group, and we know what we can do.”

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Published September 27, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — Seasons changed, the roster turned over, albeit slightly.

But other than that, it’s been business as usual for the Farmington Hills Mercy volleyball team.

Dominant for most of 2015, well, the girls are at it again in 2016.

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Published September 26, 2016

STERLING HEIGHTS — The 2015 Sterling Heights Stevenson volleyball team was just a couple of points away from the school’s first regional championship since 1988.

The feeling after the 3-2 loss to Grosse Pointe North in the Class A title match is one that Titans senior setter Shannon Carr and her teammates don’t want to have this season.

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Published September 26, 2016

Madison Heights Bishop Foley volleyball coach Megan Gignac thinks there has been something missing with the program over the years — coaching continuity.

In her estimation, that lack of stability has stifled the program from creating a strong tradition.

Gignac, who is in her second season as the program’s coach, is a 2007 graduate of Foley. She said that during her playing days alone, there were four coaching changes.

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Published September 22, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — After losing to Romeo High in the playoffs last year, the Macomb Dakota volleyball team had revenge on its mind. The Cougars did just that, sweeping the Bulldogs in a Macomb Area Conference Red matchup on Sept. 22.

“It was nice to see the girls come and prove themselves,” Dakota head coach Tracie Ferguson said. “It shows they can overcome adversity, and it is great to see they have that grit and heart, and they can do it together.”

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Published September 20, 2016

TROY — Following her team’s sweep of Troy High on Sept. 20, Troy Athens head coach Christine Stanichuk proudly uncrumpled an old pocket-size photo.

The small memento showed a happy group of Red Hawks, celebrating a victory over their crosstown rival, back in 2012.

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Published September 20, 2016

TROY — The Troy Athens volleyball team boasts an experienced roster.

“In my 13 years here, I have never had this many seniors,” Athens head coach Christine Stanichuk said, as eight of the 14 players are seniors. “The leadership is beyond strong. The underclassmen, JV and freshman team really look up to them, and they handle that really well.”

Due to the seasoned lineup, Stanichuk did something unique this season. Usually the Red Hawks have only two captains, but the 2016 campaign features a trio of leaders.

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Published September 16, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — The success the St. Clair Shores Lake Shore volleyball team had as a member of the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division earned the team a promotion of sorts.

The Shorians moved into the MAC Blue Division, which also includes Utica High, Utica Ford II, Fraser High, Port Huron High and Sterling Heights High. 

Lake Shore joins the division after winning the MAC Gold in 2014 and 2015. The Shorians finished second in the MAC Gold in 2012 and 2013.

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Published September 15, 2016

WEST BLOOMFIELD — There was no surprise in this gift, or parting gift, if you will.

After winning the Oakland Activities Association White Division in 2015, the West Bloomfield High volleyball team was granted the quick and predicted move to the Red this fall.

And now the fun begins.

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Published September 13, 2016

ROCHESTER HILLS — After being relegated down a division, the Rochester Adams volleyball team is looking to fight its way back up to the top of the Oakland Activities Association.

“We were moved down to the White this year, and I think the goal for any OAA team is that you want to play in the Red,” said head coach Bridgette Harding. “We want to finish high and finish strong, and obviously our goal would be to work our way back into the Red.”

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