GIRLS VOLLEYBALL: Clarkston fends off Lake Orion to reach district finals | North Oakland Sports
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GIRLS VOLLEYBALL: Clarkston fends off Lake Orion to reach district finals

| November 7, 2013 | Comments (0)

NOTE: Have photos or video of this event you would like to share with digital daily www.northoaklandsports.com?Email pertinent information to results@northoaklandsports.com or to Senior Editor Dan Stickradt at Dan.Stickradt@northoaklandsports.com

 

FOR MORE VOLLEYBALL COVERAGE:  http://northoaklandsports.com/?s=Volleyball&x=0&y=9

 

BY DAN STICKRADT

SENIOR EDITOR

dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com

Twitter: @LocalSportsFans

 

CLARKSTON — It is only fitting that Clarkston and Lake Orion meet in the girls volleyball state tournament almost every year.

As two of the top teams in Class A in recent years, the duo, only 10 miles apart, have faced a number of times in the postseason in the past decade with many epic battles.

The latest chapter was written on Wednesday night at Clarkston in the Class A district semifinals.

Clarkston, ranked 10th, built a 2-0 lead and held on for a 3-1 victory over the visiting Dragons in a battle of two state-ranked teams. The Wolves (43-12-4) posted a 26-24, 25-22, 17-25, 25-23 victory over the Dragons, the second straight season Clarkston has knocked Lake Orion out of the tournament.

Two years ago, Lake Orion defeated Clarkston in the state semifinals.

“Clarkston and Lake Orion have always had a great rivalry in a lot of sports for many years and now in the past 5-6 years volleyball has become the same way,” said Clarkston coach Kelly Avenall, whose team is 3-1 against Lake Orion this season and 6-1 over the past two seasons. “We knew what to expect from this game. Ross (Talbott) has done a great job continuing to make Lake Orion a very good team. We were fortunate enough to win (this round).”

Clarkston will face Oxford at 6 p.m. Thursday in the district finals, but not before nearly two intense hours of volleyball against its rivals to the east.

Clarkston overcame an early 7-5 deficit and were locked in a 24-24 tie before winning Game 1 and captured Game 2 after grabbing a 67-6 advantage and leading the rest of the way.

After seeing Lake Orion win the third set convincingly, Clarkston rolled in Game 4 to advance to the district finals, where the Wolves will be going after their seventh district crown in 11 seasons. Clarkston held a 21-20 lead in the final set before outscoring the Dragons 4-2 down the stretch.

“I think this is what postseason volleyball should be, two great teams going after each other, battling it out,” said Talbott. “I am sad that we lost but our five seniors all played amazing. We knew it was going to be close either way. I feel that if we could have won the first set that we could have won the match. We would have had the momentum. We just made a couple of mental errors and it cost us. We lost the momentum and they took a two games to nothing lead on us. That’s hard to overcome against a talented team against Clarkston.

“I thought this is one of the best matches we’ve seen all year,” continued Talbott. “I think if Clarkston plays this way the rest of the tournament that they could go a long ways and maybe even play on the final day. They are a very good defensive team, very well-coached and have a lot of weapons.”

Taylor Dellinger led Clarkston with 14 kills and 22 digs. Briana Frakes added 40 assists and Kacy Robinson was key for the Wolves by adding 13 kills and was a major concern for the Lake Orion defense.

“I think when Kacy plays well it gives us another (weapon),” said Avenall. “She is a three-sport athlete that we have made into a volleyball player. She’s so athletic.”

Robinson had five kills in Game 2, while Katie Chadwell (seven kills) ended the set with a kill. Frakes had the set-point in Game 1 with a service ace, while Chadwell ended Game 4 and the match with a block-kill that fell to open space.

Kayla Rockey ended Game 3 for Lake Orion with a kill.

“I think our team does a good job of not getting down. If the other team scores a point or goes on a rally, we just move on and keep playing hard,” said Dellinger, who spent last season in Alabama playing for a state championship team. Dellinger played for Clarkston as a freshman in 2011.

“We would love to get back to the Final Four, like we were two years ago and this was a big step,” continued Dellinger. “We have a long ways to go and we have a big game coming up in the district finals. We know we have to step up each time if we are to go a (long) ways.”

For Lake Orion, Rockey slammed 12 kills and was in on 4.5 blocks for the Dragons. Ally Shinouskis followed with 21 digs, Katie Suchiu had 12 kills and 3.5 blocks while Tess Marshall followed with 34 assists and 12 digs for Lake Orion.

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FOR MORE VOLLEYBALL COVERAGE:  http://northoaklandsports.com/?s=Volleyball&x=0&y=9

Have photos or video of this event that you wish to share? E-mail pertinent information to www.northoaklandsports.com Senior Editor Dan Stickradt at dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com or e-mail results@northoaklandsports.com.

 

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