Cardinal netters clinch another unbeaten Ski Valley season

The Onaway High School varsity volleyball team wrapped up its second consecutive undefeated Ski Valley Conference season Tuesday when it knocked off host Mancelona, 25-17, 25-14, and 25-12.

Mariah Ehrke led the way with 12 kills, against only three attack errors, along with seven digs. Lexi Szymoniak added eight kills, four digs, and six aces, while Taylor Ehrke had eight digs and 22 assists.

Devin Bristley had four kills, eight digs, and five aces, Sara Fullerton had three kills, six digs, and two aces, Morganne badger had four digs, and Ashley LaLonde had five assists.

“The fact that we went undefeated in conference, and dropped only two sets along the way, is a testament to the hard work these girls put in during the offseason,” said coach Steve Watson.

“In a lot of ways, it’s harder to win your conference than it is to win a tournament or your district. To win those, you have to be on your game for one day. To win conference, you have to be good over weeks and months.

“Going into last year, we had never won a Ski Valley title in volleyball. We’ve now won two straight, and gone 16-0 in conference matches over those two years.”

The varsity improved to 38-6-3 overall with the victory over the Lady Ironmen, and remain ranked third in the state in Class D.

The OHS junior varsity also defeated Mancelona, 25-18, 25-15, and 11-15, to improve to 12-16-7 on the season.

Allison LaFave had four kills and four aces, Roxanne Kortman had four kills, two blocks, and an ace, Elisha Ionetz had 14 digs, and Vydailya Letts had four assists.

The varsity will participate in its final regular season tournament Saturday at St. Louis, and will face some top notch competition at that event, including Beal City, last year’s Class D state runner-up, ranked second in Class C this season.

Host St. Louis is ranked third in Class C, Cadillac is ranked seventh in Class B. Both will participate in the tourney, as will several other Class B and C schools.

“It will be great for these girls to see this level of competition as we head into the postseason,” said Watson.

On Monday, both the JV and varsity travel to Cedarville. On Tuesday, the JV competes with Posen and Rogers City in the PI County Championships, while on Wednesday the varsity does the same. Both matches will be in Posen.