Walled Lake Northern All Business in West Bloomfield District Opening Sweep – The Oakland Press


WEST BLOOMFIELD — In a district full of familiar opponents, Walled Lake Northern drew the only team it didn’t play in 2022 in Tuesday’s Division 1 playoff opener.

The Knights faced host West Bloomfield in a bracket of all Lakes Valley Conference teams outside of the Lakers.

Despite being unfamiliar with their opponent, Walled Lake Northern had all the answers to the Lakers’ questions, earning a 25-11, 25-10, 25-19 win.

“We played very well together as a team and executed very well as a team. We have to stay consistent with the North volleyball game and we did that tonight,” said North coach Suzanne Krygier. “Northern volleyball is all about passing well, establishing our centers and using our outsides. When we are able to do that we can be a great team and I think that showed tonight.

In addition to passing and striking, Northern had a strong serve from junior setter Ava Epley. She had eight aces for the game and helped set up several scoring streaks for the Knights.

“We really focus on not just hard serves, but making great runs to build momentum. It’s something we’ve talked about a lot. I’m proud of (Epley) for doing a great job of executing from the service line tonight,” Krygier said.

Epley had four aces early in the first set to give Northern an 11-1 lead over West Bloomfield which set the tone for the rest of the match.

Against West Bloomfield’s serve, the Knights were solid and had consistent passes, led by senior libero Olivia Bonkowski. His play allowed the North offense to stay in the system and send the ball to their power hitters Carleigh Santavy, Bella Harding and Kayla Budziak.

“We did a really good passing job tonight and that led to a lot of good things for our offense. When our offense was on it was because we had a lot of good passes that allowed us to get away from the balls,” Krygier said.

The Lakers improved as the game progressed and held a lead in the third set with an improved blocking performance. West Bloomfield recorded five blocks in the final set to stay within range of the Knights.

“We finally started to refine our blocking in the third. We just didn’t have an answer for the right side (of Northern),” West Bloomfield coach Nancy McKouen said. “They swung the ball really well and we just couldn’t slow them down.”

Harding finished with 13 kills to lead Northern to victory, while Budziak had 10 and Santavy had nine.

The Knights improve their record to 27-14-3 with Tuesday’s win. They will now meet Walled Lake Central in Thursday’s district semi-final. Northern won all three meetings with the Vikings during the season.

Photo gallery of the first Division 1 district volleyball game between West Bloomfield and Walled Lake Northern

Senior Reagan Cherfoli and junior Jordanne Shannon each had four wins to lead the Lakers on Tuesday. They graduated six seniors from their 2022 squad.

“Hopefully the girls can build on the work ethic we established this year. It was a big improvement from last year,” McKouen said. in progress. We have a lot of size to work with, just make them all work together and be on the same page.


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