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Posted on Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 6:24 p.m.

Manchester, Greenhills win volleyball district titles; Skyline falls in final

By Matt Durr

CLINTON -- The Manchester High School volleyball team won the Class C district championship over host Clinton on Saturday, avenging a loss to the Redskins in last year's final with the 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-19) victory.

“I’m proud of them,” said Manchester coach Jennifer Caszatt. “It was a never give up attitude.”

Trailing midway through the first set 13-16, Caszett took a timeout to calm down her team. She told the girls to play to their level and even broke up the huddle by telling a joke.

“Whatever it takes to break them up and relieve tension,” Caszatt said.

The Dutch came out of the timeout and took six consecutive points and 12 of the last 26 in the set to win 25-20. In the next set with at narrow 16-15 lead, Manchester once again came out of a timeout with a 5-2 run to gain a commanding lead.

Junior McKenna Erkfritz was efficient all game, finishing with 11 kills. But it was her serves, especially in the final set, that helped dominate the Redskins. Erkfritz recorded four aces to put Manchester up 18-12. She left the floor to a rousing ovation from the Manchester faithful that made the short trip to Clinton.

“She has worked on developing her jump serve all season,” Caszatt said. “We worked on mixing up sets.”

Caszatt said that the defense was able to stymie the Clinton attack because of things they worked on in practice.

“We’ve been speeding it up a bit (in practice). They know they can trust the girls next to them,” said Caszatt.

Senior Lauren Simonis and junior Taylor Manders were especially effective at digging the Clinton attack, recording 10 and seven digs respectively. Manders also chipped in with six aces in the match.

The Dutchmen now prepare for a matchup against Adrian-Madison on Tuesday in Grass Lake. Manchester faced Madison twice already this season and lost both matches.

“We know what to expect, it’s (the players) job to step it up,” said Caszatt. “The third time’s a charm.”


Skyline falls to Brighton in Class A final

In its first ever district final, the Skyline girls volleyball team fell 3-1 to Brighton on Friday night. The Class A district 17 final was held at Pinckney High School.

Greenhills advances to regionals with win over Whitmore Lake

Greenhills knocked off in-county rival Whitmore Lake in straight sets (25-12, 25-15, 25-25) to win a Class C district title on Friday night.

“I am just so proud of the girls. It's been such a long time (1998) since Greenhills won a district and that's a lot to get over,” said Greenhills coach Tiffany Willard. “We have a great mix of sophomores, juniors and seniors, and I love how they have come together as a team. They pull for each other and support each other. It’s very satisfying for us as coaches to see that chemistry rewarded.”

The Gryphons will face Madison Heights Bishop Foley in a regional semifinal at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Oakland Christian High School in Auburn Hills.