Cover Photo by Pam Mackinder
To say it has been a whirlwind of a first month for the Stockbridge varsity volleyball team might be an understatement.
The Panthers are under their third head coach in just over a month and it took a while for things, to get going, but Stockbridge flipped the switch and had a big week, including a second-place finish at the Perry Invitational last weekend.
Meghan Kunzleman started the summer as head coach of the Panthers but was forced to step down when she took the principal position at Heritage. Junior varsity coach Christina Villegas moved up to varsity but stepped away as the season started and the Panthers were scrambling again looking for a coach. Athletic Director Ernie Rivers coached the team the first week of the season until he could find a replacement coach.
In stepped Scott Pitcher, who has coached for the Michigan Elite travel volleyball program, to take over the Panthers.
Due to the power outages after the storms last week, Pitcher coached the Panthers at the Perry Invitational without even having a practice with the team and the team flourished with a 4-1-1 record on the day and a second-place finish.
In pool play, the Panthers defeated Durand 25-22, 25-17, Lansing Everett 25-13, 25-8, Portland St. Patrick 25-19, 25-15 and split with Saginaw Valley Lutheran 25-17 24-26 to move on to the Gold semifinals.
In the semis, Stockbridge met up with rival Leslie and came out on top 25-14, 25-15 to move on to the championship for a rematch with Valley Lutheran. This time Saginaw was too much for the Panthers and won the title 15-25, 10-25.
Megan Mackinder had a big day with 33 kills, 26 digs, and six aces.
Taylor Lockhart had 23 digs, 15 kills, and four aces, while Alaina Kellenberger had 24 kills.
Gracee Robidou led the team in digs with 35 to go along with five aces, while Grace Burg had 24 kills, 13 digs, and six assists. Maggie Jones chipped in with 12 kills, 11 digs, and seven aces, Micaela Forcum seven assists, and Danielle Hood three aces.
Maddie Dalton ran the offense, by dishing out 83 assists and had 20 digs for the Panthers.
Stockbridge continued its roll by taking down Pinckney Tuesday night 25-22, 25-21, 23-25, 25-18.
Jones had a big night with 10 kills, three blocks, and one ace.
Kellenberger led the team with 11 kills and one block, while Mackinder had six kills, 11 digs, and two aces. Burg had four digs, three kills, three aces, and three assists, while Robidou led the team in digs with 11. Lockhart added 10 digs, four kills, and two aces, while Dalton had a huge night with 22 assists, 10 digs, and four aces.
Stockbridge improved to 5-4-1 overall on the season. They return to action on September 5 when they travel to Tecumseh for a quad.