2018-12-08 / Sports

Island Volleyball Team Finishes Third in Northern Lights League

By Kevin R. Hess

Brooke Dziobak (left) and Ella Cowell are captains of the Lakers volleyball team this year. (Photograph by David Latva) Brooke Dziobak (left) and Ella Cowell are captains of the Lakers volleyball team this year. (Photograph by David Latva) The Mackinac Island Lakers volleyball team can take pride in their season. Their win total has improved in each of the last three seasons and, without a senior player, they will return the entire team next year. The Lakers did not win a game in 2016, but improved to win 10 matches in 2017. This year, the team won 13 times.

Lakers Coach Jennifer Schrader said the district semifinal October 30 produced some of the best volleyball she has seen her team play in the three years she has been the coach, even though the Lakers fell to the St. Ignace Saints that day.

“We knew it would be tough because St. Ignace has anywhere from two to four years’ experience on my girls,” she said. “They never let that intimidate or stop them from playing.”

Coach Schrader said the Lakers made big strides this year and will continue to grow and improve. The team and coaching staff are eager to see how much better they can be in the near future, she said.

“One of the best feelings as a coach was hearing multiple community members comment on the growth they have seen,” said Ms. Schrader. “I can teach them skills and everything they need to know about the game, but it’s up to the players to take that information and apply it. These girls do that. They want to grow and be a successful team in the future, and that makes my job as their coach so much easier.”

Lakers Finish Third in League and Tournament

On October 20, the Lakers finished third in the Northern Lights League tournament at Hannahville School. The eight-team tournament started with pool play, as each team played four matches. The top four – Munising Baptist, Maplewood Baptist Academy, Mackinac Island, and Beaver Island – qualified for bracket play. The Lakers lost in the first round of bracket play to Maplewood Baptist. Munising Baptist defeated Maplewood Baptist in the final.

Mackinac Island also finished third in the league in the regular season, behind Munising Baptist and Maplewood Baptist, and ahead of Paradise, Ojibwe Charter, Beaver Island, Hannahville, and Grand Marais.

“The girls played tough,” said Ms. Schrader. “We knew Munising and Maplewood were going to be tough to beat. They were the only teams in the league we lost to, so we were content with that. We finished third overall in the league this season, so it was nice to place the same in the tournament.”

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