Volleyball

Published December 9, 2016

C&G Newspapers

OAKLAND COUNTY — Nets have been tucked away.

Kills, digs and spikes are reserved for next fall.

But before the 2016 volleyball season totally escapes us, coaches in the Oakland Activities Association have selected the top players from the fall season.

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Published December 1, 2016

C&G Newspapers

Another season has come and gone for the 36 volleyball teams in the Macomb Area Conference.

St. Clair Shores South Lake was the last MAC team standing, as the Cavaliers advanced all the way to the Class B state quarterfinals before falling to North Branch High 3-0.

The run to the quarters was the deepest in South Lake history.

The MAC has once again named MVPs, Coaches of the Year and Sportsmanship Award winners, in addition to All-League teams. Here’s a look at the honorees and final standings.

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Published November 29, 2016

On the south end of the Auburn Hills Oakland Christian gymnasium, dozens of framed pictures line the wall. Represented is every Michigan Independent Athletic Conference championship captured in school history, regardless of sport.

Priscilla Larned can be found in 13 plaques, each time smiling with a different roster of proud volleyball players. After helming the program for 32 seasons, the 2016 team photo will be added, a successful memento marking the end of her coaching career.

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Published November 15, 2016

CLAWSON — The North Branch High volleyball team is now two wins away from another state championship, advancing to the Class B state semifinals with a 3-0 win over St. Clair Shores South Lake in a state quarterfinal Nov. 15 at Clawson High.

The Broncos (56-9) take on the winner of a Buchanan High/Grant High in a state semifinal at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, The Class B state title match is at 4 p.m. Nov. 19 in Battle Creek.

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Published November 15, 2016

TROY — Troy Athens volleyball saw its season come to a close with a 3-0 loss to Sterling Heights Stevenson on Nov. 8. The match opened the regional round of the playoffs, the second straight season the Red Hawks had reached that point.

“This just wasn’t our night,” Athens coach Christine Stanichuk said. “But our girls have no reason to hold their heads down. We had an awesome year. We were a win away tonight from getting further than any team in Athens history. I’m proud of those girls and how they battled all year.”

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Published November 14, 2016

METRO DETROIT — In the end, everything the Farmington Hills Mercy volleyball team threw at Novi High was answered, and answered in resounding fashion.

That’s how things went for the Marlins in their Nov. 10 Class A regional final against the top-ranked team in the state.

“Everything we tried, they were a little stronger,” coach Loretta Vogel said with a quick laugh. “No matter what we attempted, they were a little stronger.”

Novi, the defending champs in Class A, improved to 51-1 with the victory.

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Published November 14, 2016

Macomb Dakota’s volleyball campaign came to an end on Nov. 8 with a 3-0 loss to Clarkston High in the first round of regionals.

Despite the defeat, Cougars head coach Tracie Ferguson was still pleased with the year.

“As league play started, we continued to be successful, but also hit a few bumps in the road,” Ferguson said. “I am most proud of how the girls bounced back and wanted to continue to get better not only in the physical game but the mental part.”

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Published November 14, 2016

ROSEVILLE — Upon taking over as head coach of the Roseville High volleyball team prior to the start of the 2015 season, Nick Juncaj vowed to turn the program into a winner.

Juncaj, who took over the varsity squad after a stint as Panthers JV coach, and his team had some early growing pains, going 1-12 in 2015. That team had just one senior on the roster.

The turnaround happened quickly, though, as Roseville went 21-11-1 overall in 2016 and captured a share of the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division championship.

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Published November 14, 2016

TROY — 40 wins.

A Macomb Area Conference White Division title.

A second straight Class A district championship.

You could say 2016 was a solid year for the Sterling Heights Stevenson volleyball team. The Titans were so dominant that they didn’t drop one game in Macomb Area Conference White Division play.

The team’s success on the court is only part of the reason coach Paul Drdul calls this year’s squad one of his favorites.

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Published November 11, 2016

EASTPOINTE — It’s something that has been discussed since Tom Pfiefer returned to coach the St. Clair Shores Lakeview volleyball team in 2014 — winning a district championship.

The squad has advanced a match closer each year, culminating with the Huskies facing Grosse Pointe North in a Class A district title match Nov. 4. Lakeview fell short of its goal, falling to North 3-0.

The Huskies ended the season at 26-15-3. Lakeview beat St. Clair Shores Lake Shore 3-1 Nov. 2 to get to the championship.

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Published November 10, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — The playoff run for Madison Heights Bishop Foley’s volleyball team came to an end with a 3-1 loss to Allen Park Cabrini in a Class C regional final Nov. 10 at home.

After the Ventures won the first set 25-22, Cabrini came back to take the next three 25-17, 25-18 and 25-16.

Following the match, Cabrini coach Cheryl Szczodrowski discussed how the Monarchs were able to keep their composure after the slow start.

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Published November 10, 2016

C&G Newspapers

TROY — The Birmingham Marian volleyball team withstood the efforts of the Sterling Heights Stevenson squad to come away with a regional title in a 3-0 win Nov. 10 at Troy High.

The Mustangs (26-9) advance to take on Novi High in a Class A state quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Nov. 15 also at Troy High.

"This is a goal we've had all year," Marian coach Angela Kalczynski said. "It was good to see them execute and pull out a win."

The regional title is the first for Marian since 2013.

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Published November 10, 2016

WALLED LAKE — There will come a time when Novi High won’t be this dominant.

And when that day arrives, Sarah Lindstrom and her Walled Lake Central volleyball team will be ready to pounce.

“We can be that team that others fear, because of how we work and how we play,” Lindstrom said one day after the Vikings’ season came to a close in a regional semifinal loss to Novi Nov. 8. 

As it is in Class A volleyball right now, though, Novi is in a class of its own. 

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Published November 8, 2016

C&G Newspapers

TROY — It was a goal of the Sterling Heights Stevenson volleyball team to get back to a regional final after falling to Grosse Pointe North at that point last season.

The Titans accomplished that goal, beating Troy Athens 3-0 in a Class A regional semifinal Nov. 8 at Troy High.

Stevenson (41-6-2) advances to take on either Grosse Pointe North or Birmingham Marian in a regional final set for 7 p.m. Nov. 10 at Troy High.

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Published November 8, 2016

ROSEVILLE — What a turnaround.

After winning just one match all of last season, the Roseville High volleyball team went 21-11-1. That included a 9-1 finish in the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division, giving the Panthers their first division title since winning the MAC Gold in 2008.

To put the season in perspective, Roseville won three times as many matches in the MAC Silver this season as it did total matches in 2014 and 2015 (three).

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Published November 4, 2016

C&G Newspapers

EASTPOINTE — Grosse Pointe North volleyball coach Chelsea Brozo said the team's Nov. 4 match against St. Clair Shores Lakeview was the first time in a long time that the team played like a unit.

The Norsemen picked the perfect time to exhibit continuity, picking up a 3-0 win against the Huskies to claim a second straight Class A district championship.

"They played well today," Brozo said. "They fought their hearts out. They weren't about to let this district title slip away."

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Published November 4, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — St. Clair Shores Lake Shore volleyball coach Margaret Kwapisz said she’s proud of how her team battled this season after the Shorians fell 3-1 to Lakeview Nov. 2 in a Class A district semifinal.

Lake Shore ended the season at 12-19-2 overall and 4-6 in the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division. The Shorians moved to the Blue this fall after winning back-to-back MAC Gold championships.

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Published November 2, 2016

C&G Newspapers

FARMINGTON — She called them a very good team, a “great team,” to be exact.

Dana Gray’s assessment of the Farmington Hills Mercy volleyball squad proved to be pretty accurate Wednesday night as the Marlins ousted her West Bloomfield High group in straight sets from a Class A district semifinal at Farmington High.

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Published November 2, 2016

EASTPOINTE — A long-standing city rivalry continued Nov. 2 when the St. Clair Shores Lakeview and Lake Shore volleyball teams met in a Class A district semifinal hosted by Eastpointe East Detroit.

The Huskies avenged last year's semifinal loss to the Shorians, scoring a 3-1 win to advance to take on Grosse Pointe North in a district final set for 6 p.m. Nov. 4 at East Detroit. Grosse Pointe North (10-13-0) beat Warren Woods Tower (22-15-2) Nov. 2 to advance to the district final.

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Published November 2, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — With two meetings already in the books, the Farmington High and Farmington Hills Harrison volleyball teams will officially begin the postseason against each other.

Not a bad way to get into playoff mode.

“I feel like, come playoff time, anyone can lose any given day,” Farmington coach Katherine Drews said. “So that means anyone can win any given day. That’s the mindset we’re going into this one with, knowing that we have a chance if we play our game.”

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