TROY — Looking for a bounce-back effort in the OAA Red Division after getting swept last week by Birmingham Seaholm, the Troy volleyball team hosted Clarkston on Tuesday night.
Unfortunately for the Colts, the visiting Wolves had plans of their own.
Behind a stout defensive effort, Clarkston came out swinging and easily tossed aside Troy by way of a three-game sweep, 25-13, 25-13, 25-19.
“We’ve been working on our defense a lot this year,” Clarkston coach Kelly Avenall said. “It’s something that I want our girls to take pride in, and I thought tonight we did a good job.”
Needing only 58 minutes, the Wolves were better than Troy in nearly every facet.
“We would need a perfect team match to beat (Clarkston),” Troy coach Vince Muscat said. “We started out great, but as the first game and the match went on, we got away from what we were doing. We didn’t play a very smart match tonight.”
Clarkston, which improves to 23-6 overall and 2-0 in the OAA Red, fell behind 5-0 in the first before storming back to grab control of the game and the match.
Up 19-13, the Wolves would begin to heat up, rattling off six-straight points to take game one, 25-13.
“I don’t know what to say about the slow start,” Avenall said. “We had some unforced errors, but we told them before the match that we needed to control the tempo of the match. We’re a pretty up-tempo team, and in the beginning, we weren’t. Once we started playing our game, we saw some good results.”
It was much of the same in the second game from Clarkston, which led from start to finish. Defensively, the Wolves were outstanding. Troy hitters struggled all night, especially in the second game, getting through the Wolves’ tall wall of blockers.
“I was happy with our blocking tonight,” Avenall said. “We limited our blocking errors, and normally, we don’t have a size advantage against teams. But this year, we’ve got some tall girls up front.”
Troy (5-20, 0-2) showed some fight in game three, battling to a 19-19 tie. However, Clarkston wouldn’t be denied the sweep, as it ripped off another six-straight points to take the game, 25-19.
“Part of competing is cerebral,” Muscat said. “You can’t make mental mistakes. We didn’t compete tonight, and I didn’t think we executed tonight.”
Junior outside hitter Taylor Dellinger led Clarkston offensively, recording a team-high 12 kills, while senior Katie Chadwell chipped in with eight.
“We were kind of blessed to get (Taylor),” Avenall said. “She’s getting some really good swings for us.”
While the Colts, who are still trying to find their groove after losing Olivia Parks to an ACL injury, have struggled in their first two OAA Red matches, Muscat has seen some positives to take away and knows that his team will continue to get better.
On Tuesday, Troy was led by Sydney Alexander, who recorded six kills, and Amanda, who tallied 11 digs.
“I think we can compete with anybody,” Muscat said. “We’re not as concerned with wins and losses, but we have to compete.”
Clarkston gets back to work on Thursday night with a match at Stoney Creek. Avenall is pleased with what she has seen to this point, but as a coach, she always sees things that they can improve on.
“For the most part, I’m happy with where we’re at,” she said. “But since I’m the coach, I’m not 100 percent happy. There are some things that we need to get better at.”