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October 16, 2013

Madison Heights Lamphere volleyball poised for title run

By Christian Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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Madison Heights Lamphere volleyball poised for title run
Lamphere senior Katie Maddox gets in position to send a pass to a teammate.

After a decade away from coaching Madison Heights Lamphere volleyball, Patty Waidknecht is back with the program and near the top of the standings.

At press time, the Rams were 13-11 overall and 4-1 in the MAC Silver Division, which puts them in second place, one match behind St. Clair Shores Lakeview.

“I found I’m a little calmer this time around,” Waidknecht said. “You kind of grow up and get it. I love (being back).”

The coach is also excited about her team.

Waidknecht said she could tell the squad was talented and had potential during summer workouts, but the biggest issue has been the mental side of the game.

“I knew we had some talent coming in, and I didn’t think anyone could touch us this year. I saw it in the preseason tournaments. We’d beat Ferndale and big teams like Utica Ford, and I thought, ‘Wow, this is going to be great,’” she said. “Then, the next match, we’d come out kind of soft. They have the ability to be wonderful.

“Our mental game is sometimes our biggest opponent.”

Waidknecht said she runs drills in practice that have consequences, hoping that the squad becomes more at ease with the extra pressure. She said she’s seeing improvement in that department.

“I just try to re-inforce how good they are,” she said. “I tell them, ‘Don’t lighten up when you’re winning by a lot or give up when you’re losing.’ In this kind of rally scoring, you can come back from anything.”

The Rams’ lone loss in the Silver was a five-game match against Lakeview. Lamphere gets another chance at the Huskies, potentially with the division championship on the line, Oct. 22 at home.

“Every game, practice leads us back to Lakeview — so when we come back, we’ll be stronger,” Waidknecht said. “I have five seniors on this team. They want it.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Christian Davis at cdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1062. Twitter Follow Christian on Twitter.