Marian

Posted On: 09/24/20 10:59 AM

The 2020 prep volleyball season has been presented with a number of challenges.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of adjustments, but programs around the state are making the most of the adverse situation.

One of the biggest adjustments this fall is the lack of tournaments. Saturday tournaments have always been a staple or the prep volleyball season, but attendance restrictions due to the virus have kept those from happening.

To make the most out of that challenge, many solid programs have come together for a Power Series that will run throughout the season.

Play began on Sept. 12 with 27 varsity teams coming together for seven different quads (one trio) scattered about.

Teams then advance to quads every two weeks based on their performance, ultimately leading to the top four teams meeting in a final quad on Oct. 10.

Results from the Sept. 12 quads were:

At Romeo: Mercy 3-0, Troy Athens 2-1, Romeo 1-2, Royal Oak 0-3

At Oxford: Marian 3-0, North Branch 2-1, Oxford 1-2, Rochester 0-3

At Lake Orion: Lake Orion 3-0, Seaholm 2-1, Livonia Stevenson 1-2, Farmington 0-3

At Northville: Northville 2-0, Saline 1-1, West Bloomfield 0-2

At Bloomfield Hills: Bloomfield Hills 3-0, Novi 2-1, North Farmington 1-2, Algonac 0-3

At Flushing: Stoney Creek 3-0, Flushing 2-1, L’Anse Creuse North 1-2, Groves 0-3

At Clarkston: Clarkston 3-0, Eisenhower 2-1, Regina 1-2, Holly 0-3

The second of four stages takes place this weekend. Here’s a breakdown of the featured four groupings.

At Mercy – Mercy, Oxford and Bloomfield Hills

Novi would be part of this quad originally, but the Wildcats are quarantining right now. This is a solid trio still. Mercy hasn’t missed a beat since winning the title. A veteran group still has a great leader in Julia Bishop at setter. Their talented group of hitters are complimented by a great libero in Amina Robinson as well. Bloomfield Hills and Oxford have played very competitive schedules and are capable of beating any of the top D1 teams, they just need to find consistency. Order Prediction – Mercy, Bloomfield Hills, Oxford

At Clarkston – Marian, Clarkston, Seaholm and Romeo

Marian and Clarkston definitely is the featured matchup here. Seaholm and Romeo will pose challenges, but the Wolves and Mustangs have established themselves as top D1 contenders this year. Marian is still a young team, but Ava Brizard is playing as well as anyone. Clarkston has veteran leadership with Claire Nowicki. It should be a great clash. Order Prediction – Marian, Clarkston, Seaholm, Romeo

At Lake Orion – Lake Orion, West Bloomfield, Flushing and Eisenhower

The Dragons returned most of their 2019 roster and have arguably the top middle pairing in the state in Kendall Robertson and Reagan GoekeSydney Palazzolo has looked great for Eisenhower thus far and has Ike looking to earn a marquee win this weekend. Flushing and West Bloomfield will be game opponents, but need to raise their game to get to the top of this quad. Order Prediction – Lake Orion, Eisenhower, Flushing, West Bloomfield

At North Branch – North Branch, Stoney Creek, Troy Athens, Country Day

Country Day didn’t get to play in the first stage, but is part of a very solid quad here. North Branch continues to pick up big wins while freshman Alana Deshetsky really making a name for herself. Stoney Creek has only lost to Mercy. Ainsley Guse is hitting .450 and Sydney Tomlak is racking up the kills. Troy Athens could play spoiler, but the Red Hawks will see just where they stand this weekend. Order Prediction – Stoney Creek, North Branch, Country Day, Troy Athens