Onaway’s strong opening act

by Peter Jakey-Managing Editor

Behind a supportive student body, the Onaway volleyball team swept Posen in the opening round of the Class D district tournament on the home floor.

The fans chanted “Ozone” throughout the match as well as the “Woah, Oh, Oh, Oh, O” chant when the Cards had game-point and were ready to apply the knock out punch.

The scores were 25-18 in all three. They advanced to Thursday’s district title match with Hillman (after press time), who wiped the floor with Wolverine in the other semifinal match. The Cards were in search of their fourth straight district championship.

“I thought we did a really good of hitting the ball tonight,” said head coach Steve Watson. “We hit .252 on the night. That’s really solid. Really, really solid. When you hit like that every night in the post season.

Lexi Szymoniak (10 kills), Elise Arkwood (8) and Morganne Badgero (6) combined for 24 kills.

Watson gave Arkwood and Badgero a motivational pep talk before the match, and believes he might have to do more of that as the tournament rolls on. “They played fantastic in the middle. Lexi did a great job, but if Elise and Morganne are on, that makes life so much better for our entire offense.”

On the other end of the spectrum, Watson said there were too many service errors, “But the defensive hustle was really, really solid – like usual.

“I watch a lot of tape over the course of the season, of us playing other teams, and I am really tough on us, really critical. I think it is paying off. I have been watching other good teams and see their defense. That’s how why we are winning a lot of these games, because we don’t have a lot of the firepower a lot of other teams have. We can dig up a lot of things that other teams don’t dig up, and we stay in rallies longer.”

The girls played with poise and confidence in building early leads in all three games 0-4, 0-3 and 0-4. One fact about the match indicates how much the Cards dominated, Posen led only once in game 2.

The Cards were running away with game 3, 18-4, before Posen made a last ditch effort to save their season.

Szymoniak led the Cards with 22 digs, while Badgero had 17. Arkwood turned in eight.

The regional tournament is at Pellston.