Walled Lake Central opened its division schedule with a victory at Waterford Mott in four games, 25-20, 19-25, 25-23, 25-14, on Thursday, Sept. 6.
The Vikings are now 8-2-1 overall and 1-0 in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association (KLAA) North Division.
“Our play the first few games was very sloppy. We made a lot of errors and did not play with enough focus or intensity,” Central Head Coach Cathy Johnson said. “Our team needs to clean up our play going forward as our section of the KLAA league is very tough.”
Brittany Guldan led Central with 21 assists, 10 kills, 10 digs and an ace, while Catelyn Girard had 13 assists, 11 kills, five digs, and two aces and freshman libero Alex Picardal had 23 digs and an ace.
“Alex is picking up all of the nuances of the position along with the speed of the varsity match. In her offseason play last year as an eighth-grader, her club volleyball team had her setting because they needed a setter,” Johnson said. “Alex is just such a natural libero that I’m so excited about her potential in this position.”
Johnson added that she should have her entire squad healthy and ready to play with the return of its other middle hitter, junior Zoe Rakotz, who is finally released to compete after a broken foot that occurred this summer and a bout with mononucleosis.
“It will take Zoe some time to get back into competition condition. However, she is a strong hitter and blocker for us, so I’m sure she will come back up to speed quickly. This will allow me to adjust our lineup and get Mikaela Beck back at outside hitter,” she said.
The Vikings hosted Waterford Kettering on Tuesday, Sept. 11 after press time and will travel to face Walled Lake Northern tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 13.
Central will then play at the “Lakes vs. Fields” tournament at West Bloomfield on Saturday, Sept. 15 in which Walled Lake Central, Northern and Western will face Bloomfield Hills Lahser, Bloomfield Hills Andover and host West Bloomfield.
“We have a ton of potential on this team and when we play serious competitive volleyball, I believe that we can be a high-level opponent to any team,” Johnson said. “I have faith in my team that we can make the commitment to play this game both mentally tough and physically tough. That is what it takes to play against the top teams in the state.”