Varsity & JV Volleyball

TRAVERSE CITY — The Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball squad ended its playoff run Thursday in the Regional Finals with a loss to host Traverse City St. Francis in straight games, 25-11, 25-13 and 25-22.

“The girls did an incredible job this season,” said J-L coach Kristine Peppin. “That’s the first thing we said to them — ‘We are so proud of what you’ve done this year.’ Every team in the state, except for one, ends the season with a loss, and it just didn’t go our way tonight.”

The Lady Cards dealt out their fair share of season-ending losses during the last two weeks of playoffs and racked up serious miles in transportation while doing so.

Since the district tournament began on Oct. 20 in Lincoln, J-L logged more than 800 miles with the last 300 occurring between Tuesday’s Regional Semifinal game and Thursday’s Final, both played in Traverse City.

On Tuesday, the trip back most likely felt much quicker.

The Cardinals (50-15) handed McBain a thriller of a comeback loss in five games, 25-27, 15-25, 25-22, 25-22 and 15-12.

“What we’ve been working hard on all season is never give up,” Peppin said. “Never give up and keep working hard with your teammates. We told them to stop looking at the scoreboard because it doesn’t matter what the score is. You’ve got to control what you can control. Take it on yourself and say, ‘I can do this better.’”

After dropping the first two games, the Cardinals began to give the Ramblers fits.

“We didn’t do anything different in our lineup,” Peppin said. “We didn’t do anything different in our offense. We just had to keep the ball in play. In game two that didn’t happen. We hit out, we served out, and it seemed like nothing would fall our way. After that, we got a little bit of momentum going and girls are like that. Whatever is happening, good or bad, they take it personal. They were able to find momentum and keep it going all the way through game five.”

From the onset of game three on Tuesday through Thursday’s loss to St. Francis, the senior class of J-L displayed its leadership.

During the back-and-fourth final three sets on Tuesday, the kills of Abby Schlicher and Hannah Huff helped fuel the comeback flames.

Down 19-14, serves from Katelyn Weaver were supported by kills from Tiffany Nickert, thus driving the final comeback attempt of the season.

Playing their final game in a Cardinal uniform, Schlicher, Nickert, Huff, Weaver and Becky Michael drew praise from their coach.

“They’ve done so much over the years,” Peppin said of her seniors. “For some of them, this is their third year, and I thought they showed a lot of character in game three. They were facing down and out, and they were able to get right in there and even had the lead a couple times. Right up until the end when the score was 23-20, they were still fighting. Tiffany put down that shot and showed that she wasn’t afraid to hit. ‘Hey give me the ball, I’m going to go out swinging.’

“It really showed that belief that we hit hard, and we’re a good team, and we are going to put it down no matter what the score is.”


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Lady Cards sweep their way to victory
by James Andersen - Alpena News

LINCOLN — The Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball team has gained a lot of momentum in the weeks heading into tournament play.

That momentum reached a high point on Friday night as the Cardinals swept Lincoln Alcona in a Class C volleyball District Final, 25-12, 25-15 and 25-23.

The Cardinals captured their third district title under coach Kristine Peppin in four years and completed a perfect run through their District, sweeping Whittemore-Prescott, Tawas Area and Alcona.

It has proven to be a thrilling ride for the Cardinals (49-14) who faced McBain in Tuesday’s Regional semifinal at Traverse City St. Francis. Results were not available at press time but can be found at www.gaylordheraldtimes.com.

“I’m thrilled,” Peppin said of Friday’s win. “We are excited that we were able to be District champions this year. We’ve worked hard this season and these girls deserve it. The season starts for volleyball at the beginning of August. These girls have put in a lot of time over the summer. They’ve really worked hard, and we’ve gone to some great tournaments this year. These last few weeks we’ve taken first, and it led in nice to the playoffs.”

The Cardinals jumped out to a 6-1 lead Friday in the opening game and held off a pair of charges by the Tigers, who couldn’t seem to find the same groove they had on Thursday in a sweep of Oscoda.

Alcona rallied to within three, 12-9, midway through the first game, but J-L took control from there and cruised the rest of the game.

Abby Schlicher led the Cardinals with 11 kills and 22 digs and had 100 percent serving for the match. Brittany Cherwinski added nine kills.

The Tigers had trouble against a tough Cardinals’ offense, which seemed to find all the right holes in Alcona’s defense. The Cardinals were especially effective in making plays close to the net, either with a key tip or block that Alcona wasn’t able to answer.

Peppin lauded her team’s ability for being able to get offense going, regardless of the rotation.

“Every rotation we’ve got hitters that can really put up the ball and put it down with big kills,” Peppin said. “Every rotation there’s a girl up there I’m confident we can give the ball to and she’ll make the play.”

The two teams played each other close in the second game with neither team leading by more than two points for most of the game. Hanging on to a 16-14 lead, J-L put the pedal down and ended the game on a 9-1 run as Alcona continued to struggle.

Hannah Huff added six kills and 21 digs for the Cardinals and also had 100 percent serving. Julia Nieman had 21 assists, 11 service points and four aces.

Tiffany Nickert and Katelyn Weaver each had three aces.

The night’s final game proved to be the closest as Alcona rallied back from a 15-9 deficit to cut the Cardinals’ lead to two. J-L took a 19-14 lead, but Alcona rallied back again. In the late stages of the game, the Cardinals took a 23-20 lead, but Alcona scored the next two points.

Huff came up big for the Cardinals at the end, tipping the ball twice in the last three points. Her first tip gave J-L a 24-22 lead and then with a 24-23 lead, Huff tipped the ball again on almost the exact same play to give the Cardinals the win.

If J-L won Tuesday’s match, the Cardinals would face the winner of Traverse City St. Francis and Boyne City Thursday at St. Francis for the Regional title.

Golden: Johannesburg-Lewiston football, volleyball capture
District Titles on same night

Gaylord Herald Times

LINCOLN – The J-L volleyball squad swept the home team Lincoln Alcona for the Cardinals' third District title in four years Friday, 25-12, 25-15, 25-23.

In three rounds of district tournament play, the Lady Cards' opponents failed to win a single game against them.

J-L enters the regional semifinals on Tuesday when
they face McBain at Traverse City St. Francis at 6:00 p.m.

Sign up in the office if you are interested in a Volleyball District Championship t-shirt.
Cost will be about $10. Orders will be placed soon!

J-L football downs Central Lake, 40-30

 


Local volleyball teams spread out as second
season begins next week


J-L Defeats Whittemore-Prescott on Monday, October 29th
next match
Thursday, November 1st vs. Tawas

J-L VARSITY Volleyball Schedule 2012


Lady Cardinals VARSITY Volleyball Roster

Junior Varsity Volleyball Schedule

Junior Varsity Volleyball Roster

 


Cardinal VARSITY Volleyball Schedule 2012
Experienced group of veterans has Cardinals seeing red
August 17
9:00 a.m.
August 21
6:00 p.m.
August 23
at Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart Invite
8:00 a.m.
August 29
6:00 p.m.
September 4
6:00 p.m.
September 8
9:00 a.m.
September 13
6:00 p.m.
September 18
6:00 p.m.
September 22
9:00 a.m.
September 25
6:00 p.m.
September 29
9:00 a.m.
October 2
6:00 p.m.
October 6
at Onaway Invite
Congrats to the Varsity Volleyball team as they finished as runner-ups to Onaway at the Onaway tournament on Saturday. J-L defeated St. Mary’s, Mackinaw City, Cedarville and Boyne City in pool play, they also beat Cheboygan in the semis.
9:00 a.m.
October 11
6:00 p.m.
October 16
6:00 p.m.
October 20
9:00 a.m.
October 23
vs. Suttons Bay
6:00 p.m.
October 27
at Forest Area Invite
Congrats to the varsity volleyball team on their 1st place finish at their final tournament in Forest Area on Saturday. It was a perfect 7-0, defeating Central Lake, Forest Area, TC Central, Hillman, Bear Lake, Harbor Light Christian and Forest Area.
GREAT JOB LADY CARDS!
9:00 a.m.

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J-L Junior Varsity Volleyball Schedule 2012
August 20
@ St. Mary's
9:00 a.m.
August 23
@ Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart
8:00 a.m.
August 25
@ Mancelona
9:00 a.m.
August 29
vs. Forest Area
6:00 p.m.
September 4
@ St. Mary's
6:00 p.m.
September 8
@ Inland Lakes
8:30 a.m.
September 13
vs. Mancelona
6:00 p.m.
September 15
J-L JV Invitational
9:00 a.m.
September 18
6:00 p.m.
September 25
@ Central Lake
6:00 p.m.
October 2
vs. Onaway
6:00 p.m.
October 6
@ Bellaire
9:00 a.m.
October 11
@ Pellston
6:00 p.m.
October 13
@ Harbor Springs
TBA
October 16
vs. Bellaire
6:00 p.m.

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2012-13 Johannesburg-Lewiston
Varsity Volleyball Roster

Number
Name
Grade
0
Erin Kortman
Junior
1
Abby Schlicher
Senior
2
Julia Nieman
Junior
3
Hailey Weaver
Junior
4
Tiffany Nickert
Senior
5
Sarah Korff
Freshman
6
Miranda Kortman
Junior
8
Abbie May
Junior
9
Brittany Cherwinski
Junior
10
Hannah Huff
Senior
11
Becky Michael
Senior
13
Katelyn Weaver
Senior

Coach:
Kristine Peppin
Assistant Coach:
Mark Peppin
Managers:
Raynie Hummel & Alena Cassisi


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2012-13 Johannesburg-Lewiston
Junior Varsity Volleyball Roster

Number
Name
Grade
Position

1

Brooke Keane
9
Setter
2
Kelsie Cherwinski
9
Outside
3
Caitlyn Bieri
9
Outside
4
Tiffany McDonald
9
Middle
5
Sarah Korff
9
Setter
6
Maggie Holt
10
Right Side
7
Stephanie Persyn
10
Middle
8
Amber Agee
10
Outside
9
Ashley Rider
10
Libero
10
Gracie Kierczynski
10
Outside
12
Ashley May
9
Middle
13
Faith Bartle
10
Right Side
14
Haylie Haase
10
Setter

Coach: Liz Thick

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Local volleyball teams spread out as second season begins next week
Gaylord Herald Times

Class C at Lincoln Alcona

Johannesburg-Lewiston is looking for District gold this year and 40 wins on the season.

After finishing third in the always tough Ski Valley behind Onaway and Forest Area and posting a 39-14 dual record, the Cardinals head east to take on a deceptively tough division bracket in Alcona.

J-L faces Whittemore Prescott Monday night with the Iosco County Cardinals heading into the playoffs fresh off a loss at the hands of Gladwin.

Although Whittemore Prescott’s season contained more losses than victories, a win over Standish-Sterling on Oct. 15 means the team enters the postseason with at least a bit of talent.

Thursday stands as a tough day of competition for the four remaining schools.

With a victory in round one, J-L would face Tawas Area with Oscoda and Alcona battling on the other side of the bracket.

All four teams involved hold legitimate chances for District gold.

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Cardinals gear up for playoffs with volleyball tournament victory
Gaylord Herald Times

BELLAIRE — The Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball team went a perfect 5-0 in Saturday’s Bellaire invitational to collect a first-place trophy.

The Cardinals defeated St. Mary, 25-15, 25-15; Mancelona, 25-21, 25-17; and Alanson, 25-10, 25-11, in pool play.

J-L then took out Bellaire in the semifinals, 25-18, 17-25, 17-15, and Rudyard in the championship match, 23-25, 25-21, 15-12.

Leading the offensive charge was Abby Schlicher with 33 kills, Brittany Cherwinski with 22 and Tiffany Nickert with 15.

On the defensive side, Hannah Huff led with 46 digs, Schlicher had 42, and Cherwinski added 32.

Julia Nieman tossed up a solid 57 assists.

Top servers on the day were Cherwinski (29 points), Huff (26), Nickert (23) and Katelyn Weaver (20).

Against St. Mary, Cherwinski provided the spark, serving nine straight points with three aces, and Nickert served six consecutive points.

Nickert also had a remarkable start against Alanson, serving seven straight aces in game one. Huff also served up nine points in a row in game two.

In the championship match against Rudyard, Schlicher led the charge with team-high 13 kills.

Huff powered the defense with 19 digs, and Cherwinski added18.

A well-placed kill by Weaver put J-L up 14-12 in the third and deciding set, and an ace by Brittany Cherwinski sealed the game, 15-12.

“I was very pleased with our play today,” said coach Kristine Peppin. “Despite a few ups and downs in bracket play, the team pulled it together at the right time and emerged victorious. Both the semis and finals we faced the challenge of rebounding after a loss and the girls responded well to the pressure.”

J-L collected a runner-up trophy Oct. 6 at the Onaway Invitational, defeating Mackinaw City, 25-15, 25-14; Cedarville, 25-16, 25-10; St. Mary, 24-25, 25-21; and Boyne City, 25-20, 25-21, in pool play.

The Cardinals took out Cheboygan in the semifinals, 25-23, 25-17, before a tiebreaker was needed to decide the championship with the host Onaway, 20-25, 25-18, 9-15.

The Cardinals (37-14) go to their final tournament at Forest Area Saturday before Class C Districts begin Monday in Lincoln Alcona against Whittemore-Prescott.

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J-L closes Ski Valley slate with win
Gaylord Herald Times

JOHANNESBURG — The Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball team closed out the conference season with a 25-22, 25-20 and 25-21 home victory against Bellaire.

The win brought the Cardinals’ Ski Valley Conference record to 6-2, good enough for a hard-earned third-place finish in the rugged league.
“Bellaire is a scrappy and hard-working team, but our hard hitting and serving was just too much for them,” said J-L coach Kristine Peppin.

Solid play by Abby Schlicher (eight kills, 17 digs) and Brittany Cherwinski (nine kills, 10 digs) led the team. Tiffany Nickert contributed seven kills, 11 digs and four aces.

Also for J-L, Hailey Weaver provided a spark with six kills out of nine attempts. Katelyn Weaver and Nickert combined for half of the team’s serving points.

Hannah Huff chipped in 16 digs, while setter Julia Nieman was credited with 19 assists.

The Cardinals will tune up for Districts Tuesday with a home match against Suttons Bay.

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J-L Bests Pellston for 1st Time
Gaylord Herald Times

PELLSTON - The Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball team pulled off
one of the biggest wins in school history with a four-game win at traditional
Ski Valley Conference Powerhouse Pellston Thursday.

The Cardinals (5-2 Ski Valley) left the town of Pellston with a 29-27, 25-18, 16-25
and 25-22 victory over the Hornets.

Coach Kristine Peppin believed it was the Cardinals' first win in school
history against Pellston, who had won nine of the past 10 league titles.

"It was really exciting," Peppin said. "The girls played very well throughout."
Senior Hannah Huff's kill was the exclamation point on the all-important win
in the first game, one which went into extra points.

After J-L took a 2-0 lead, the Hornets rallied to take game three. But excellent
play from Tiffany Nickert and Abby Schlicher lifted the Cardinals to the 25-22 win.

Huff was the leading hitter for the Cardinals with 13 kills. Brittany Cherwinski added
nine kills, while Schlicher had seven, Katelyn Weaver also provided excellent
offensive and defensive play.

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JOHANNESBURG — Onaway proved it deserves its No. 7 state Class D ranking with a convincing Tuesday victory against host Johannesburg-Lewiston, 25-16, 25-20, 12-25 and 25-13.

“We just had too many errors tonight and it cost us the match,” said J-L coach Kristine Peppin. “We had 30 unforced hitting errors, which is insanely high. We typically average less than half of that so this was really an off night hitting. That was 30 points we just handed them by either hitting out or into the net.”

With the J-L gym filled with vocal fans decked out in red, Onaway swept through the first two games and took a five-point lead into the third.

Unforced errors stung J-L, but the long Onaway runs gobbling up points in chunks of six or eight at a time was equally stinging.

Even if Onaway made a rare mistake, it seemed a teammate was right there to cover. On more than one occasion, net balls were saved after bouncing back off the net.

Onaway’s libero, Emily Estep, showed you do not need to be much taller than 5 feet to play excellent volleyball. The senior constantly found herself in position underneath J-L kill shots and no matter how hard the boom, frequently popped them into the air to start an attack.

Beyond the accurate Onaway serving of Devin Bristley and the defensive and offensive net play from Megan Estep and Lexi Szymoniak, for approximately 30 minutes, J-L showed it they possessed all the speed and energy that their counterpart Cardinals owned.

After falling down, 15-10 in the third game, the home Cardinals began a comeback.

A block by Hannah Huff made it 16-12. A kill from Katelyn Weaver and her serving for three straight points made it a 17-16 game.

The home crowd grew louder when Brittany Cherwinski pulled J-L into the lead after serving for three points. Onaway scored a point back to make the score 22-21, but J-L stole possession back after Julia Nieman flipped a ball over head with her back to the net and found an open space.

Abby Schlicher performed the honor of the game’s last point with a thundering kill and J-L tasted a small amount of victory, 25-21.

That momentum was squashed with Onaway owning the fourth game, 25-13.

“They (Onaway) put up some amazing digs and showed great hustle,” Peppin said. “They don’t ever quit on any ball. They outlasted us and we knew it was going to come down to who could outlast who and who made the less mistakes.”

The loss put J-L (4-2 Ski Valley Conference) out of contention of a league title. Onaway (6-0) remains the only undefeated team in the league and can wrap up an outright title if it can beat Bellaire at home on Tuesday.

Pellston, whom Onaway defeated in four games on Sept. 25, has won nine of the past 10 league titles. J-L’s last conference game will be at Pellston (4-2) Tuesday.

Schlicher led the Cardinals with 10 kills followed by Weaver with eight and Cherwinski with six. Cherwinski led with 37 digs followed by Schlicher with 30 and Huff with 24. Nieman piled up 24 assists.

Although the memory of the mistakes may take time for the Cardinals to choke down, the opportunity for revenge will not take long. The Cardinals travel to Onaway today (Saturday) for their invitational.

“It all depends on which team shows up to play,” Peppin said. “Is it going to be the confident one where everything falls, or the team that second guesses themselves and can’t buy a point?”

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J-L volleyball team runner-up at home invitational home invitational
Gaylord Herald Times

The Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball team placed second amid a strong field at its home invitational Saturday. In pool play, the Cardinals defeated Central Lake (25-20, 25-14), Mancelona (25-8, 25-12) and Forest Area (25-13, 25-23), split with Mio (15-25, 25-23) and lost to Onaway (15-25, 18-25).
In bracket play, the Cardinals again defeated Forest Area (25-16, 25-21), before falling to Onaway in the finals (16-25, 17-25).

“We had a solid day,” said J-L coach Kristine Peppin. “I was especially pleased with our play against Forest Area.”

Abby Schlicher’s 35 kills led the team, while Brittany Cherwinski had 27, and Tiffany Nickert added 13. In setting, Julia Nieman tossed up 73 assists, while in the digging department Cherwinski (64), Schlicher (60), Nickert (57) and Hannah Huff (41) were standouts.

Cherwinski had 33 serving points with 10 aces. Nickert had 32 points and nine aces. Huff tallied 27 points, Schlicher 23, Nieman 15 and Katelyn Weaver 15. Huff and Schlicher were 100 percent on serves.

The Cardinals also competed in last week’s Grayling Invitational. In pool play, J-L defeated Bellaire (26-24, 25-11), Posen (25-11, 25-23) and Grayling (25-17, 25-21), split with Gaylord (25-21, 22-25) and lost to Kingsley (21-25, 23-25) and Roscommon (23-25, 24-26). The Cardinals advanced to the semifinals where they fell 17-25 and 16-25 to No. 1 seed Roscommon.

Schlicher led with 31 kills, while Cherwinski had 28, Nickert 20 and Huff 14. Schlicher’s 64 digs also paced the team, with Nickert (58), Cherwinski (53) and Huff (43) also strongly contributing. Nieman’s 64 assists compelled other coaches to include her on the All-Tournament team.

Nickert led all servers with 26 points, while Huff had 24, and Schlicher, Nieman, Cherwinski and Weaver each had 21. The Cardinals served at a sizzling 92 percent as a team. “Overall, it was a good showing against some quality teams,” Peppin said.

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Photo Courtesy of Gaylord Herald Times

J-L easily takes care of Trojans
Gaylord Herald Times

CENTRAL LAKE — The Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball team positioned itself nicely for next week’s key showdown with Onaway with a three-game sweep at Central Lake Tuesday, 25-20, 25-20 and 25-9.

The victory improves the Cardinals to 4-1 in Ski Valley Conference action ahead of Tuesday’s showdown with Onaway, which is also 4-1 in the league.

“We played well,” said J-L coach Kristine Peppin. “This moves us one step closer to our goals for the end of the season. We hit well and played solid defense.”

Becky Michael added the exclamation point late in the final game with a pair of aces that sealed the Cardinal victory.

J-L’s hitters were on point as seniors Abby Schlicher and Tiffany Nickert led the way with nine kills apiece.

Also for the Cardinals, Hannah Huff had five kills, and Brittany Cherwinski notched four. Nickert and Cherwinski each chipped in three aces, while Julia Nieman was sturdy in the passing department with 19 assists.

Cherwinski led the team with 18 digs, while Katelyn Weaver had 13, and Schlicher and Nickert each tallied 10.

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JOHANNESBURG — The Ski Valley volleyball picture will clear up soon with upcoming action across Northern Michigan.

As one of the premier, top-heavy conferences in the north country, four teams harbor legitimate hopes of a title — Pellston, Forest Area, Onaway and Johannesburg-Lewiston.
The battle of the Cardinals, J-L and Onaway, takes place Tuesday in Johannesburg and may clear one team out of the picture.

The Cardinals are currently 3-1 in league play, while Forest Area also has one conference loss. Onaway and Pellston, who were both undefeated, battled yesterday, but results were not available at press time.

J-L controls its own destiny for at least a share of the league title.

“These are important games for us in the conference standings,” said J-L coach Kristine Peppin. “If we win, we have a pretty good chance at least in sharing a piece of the title and a possibility of even winning it. If we lose, then we will end up in third or fourth place. They (Onaway) are an extremely scrappy team. They dig up everything, and it’s going to come down to who can last longer in the rally. Both teams have good hitters and good passers. It will depend on who gets their serves in and who lasts longer.”

Top hitters for J-L include Brittany Cherwinski, Abby Schlicher, Katelyn Weaver and Hailey Weaver.

Passing is led by setter Julia Nieman, who entered the Michigan High School Athletic Association record books for most assists in a match against Forest Area early in the season.

Heading into the second half of the season, Peppin likes what she has seen with the progression of her team.

“I think we’ve made improvements every game that we have played,” she said. “Lately, it seems we will improve in one area and maybe drop off a little in another, but we have been working hard at getting it all together.”

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J-L volleyball team avenges District loss
Gaylord Herald Times

INDIAN RIVER — The Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball team had an avenging performance Tuesday when it defeated Inland Lakes in straight games, 25-23, 25-19 and 25-19.

The previous meeting for the two Ski Valley Conference foes came last November when the Bulldogs defeated the Cardinals in the Class C District Finals.

“We had some ugly moments in this match, but the team pulled together at the right time,” said J-L coach Kristine Peppin.

J-L led by as much as 19-9 in the first game, thanks in part to a four-point run by Julia Nieman, but Inland Lakes stormed back to get within one point, 20-19.

It was tied at 23 when Brittany Cherwinski slammed down a booming kill, and Katelyn Weaver followed up with an ace to win the set.

In game two, the teams traded points after a slow start saw the Cardinals down 6-3. Three straight points by Abby Schlicher later put J-L up for good at 13-9, and the game ended with a Schlicher kill and ace.

“Hailey Weaver also had some nice play at the net defensively, keeping the top hitter from the other team from getting very much accomplished,” Peppin said.

In game three, Katelyn Weaver served five straight points to put J-L up 14-9 and put up some excellent blocking.

“Hannah Huff played tremendous defense,” Peppin said. “She collected 11 of her team-high 21 digs in that game and some well-placed kills.”

Top servers on the day were Katelyn Weaver with nine points and a team-high four aces. Cherwinski and Nieman each served for eight points, and Nickert added seven points.

Cherwinski led the offense with nine kills, while Huff and Schlicher were also top contributors. Julia Nieman continued to showcase her setting ability, collecting 23 assists.

“I knew this was going to be a good match,” Peppin. “I had no illusions that Inland Lakes was just going to hand us the game. They have a couple of nice hitters, and I knew we were going to have to come ready to go and really work our offense.

“After last year’s loss in Districts, we were definitely hungry for the ‘W.’ We needed this victory to stay in contention in the Ski Valley Conference, and we pulled it out. We are now eagerly anticipating our league game against Onaway in two weeks as we battle it out for the top positions in the conference with Pellston, Forest Area and Onaway.”

J-L (16-6, 3-1 in SVC) travels to Central Lake Tuesday.

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Cardinal Junior Varsity Defeats Bulldogs
Gaylord Herald Times

INDIAN RIVER — The J-L junior varsity volleyball squad handled Inland Lakes with ease, defeating the Bulldogs in straight games, 25-7, 25-13, 15-10.

Kelsey Cherwinski led the team with nine aces and four kills. Haylie Haase added five aces and 10 assists. Ashley May had four aces and five kills. The Cards are 4-0 in dual matches.

“All of the girls have shown great improvement, and I’m really looking forward to testing their skills when we go to play Onaway (Oct. 2) and Pellston (Oct. 11),” said coach Liz Thick.

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J-L netter's dispatch Mancelona in straight games
Gaylord Herald Times

The Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball team charged through Mancelona Thursday, sweeping the Lady Ironmen, 25-15, 25-6 and 25-14.

“Serving was a bit off tonight, but our consistent passing and powerful hitting made up the difference,” said Cardinal coach Kristine Peppin. “It was a nice team effort overall. The girls did a nice job of finishing each game strong and a lot of players were able to see some time tonight.”

After a bit of a slow start in the first game that was tied 12-12 at one point, J-L junior setter Julia Nieman served six straight points to open up the game and the team never looked back.

J-L controlled the second game from start to finish with Nieman serving seven straight points to put J-L up 11-2. Abby Schlicher also scored three of her five aces in a another J-L run of six consecutive points in that game.

The Cardinals (15-6, 2-1 Ski Valley Conference) were up by as much as 21-3.

“Mancelona had a tough time receiving our serves and trying to dig our hitters pretty much throughout the night,” Peppin said. “They were not able to muster much on offense to counteract our powerful attacks.”

Nieman led the team with 14 points off serves with Schlicher and Brittany Cherwinski following with eight each.

Those three each led the team with six kills. Katelyn Weaver helped out with four kills and six points off the serve. Hannah Huff added six more service points.

Peppin acknowledged the rowdy Cardinal faithful for making the home court a true advantage. “It was awesome to have such support by our student body,” she said. “Our players really feed off that intensity and loved every minute of it.”

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Courtesy Photo

J-L 2nd amid solid competition at Pine River volleyball invitational
Gaylord Herald Times

LEROY — The Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball team had a strong showing that brought home a trophy from Saturday’s Pine River Invitational.

In a 10-team tournament featuring squads as big as Class A, the Cardinals took second place. J-L was 2-1 in pool play with wins against Traverse City Christian (25-9, 25-17) and Mesick (25-8, 25-15) and a loss to Benzie Central (18-25, 17-25).

The Cardinals advanced to bracket play, where they defeated Reed City (18-25, 26-24, 15-4) in the quarterfinals and Pine River (25-18, 25-13) in the semifinals before a loss to Class A Greenville (11-25, 16-25) in the finals.

“I was very proud of our play today,” said J-L coach Kristine Peppin. “We played well as a team and made some great plays. We showed great potential and showed we are a quality team that is a force to be reckoned with.”

On the day, the Cardinals (14-6) served at a 93 percent clip. Abby Schlicher paced the J-L offense with 54 kills, while Julia Nieman set up the attack with 75 assists. Top defender on the day was Brittany Cherwinski, who had 69 digs, while Schlicher was right behind with 57 digs. Cherwinski led the team with 19 aces on the day. Top points scored on serving was Cherwinski (54) and Nieman (44). Schlicher (35-of-35) and Hannah Huff (18-of-18) were both perfect from the serving stripe.

The Cardinals return to Ski Valley Conference action Thursday at home against Mancelona.

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Photo Courtesy of Gaylord Herald Times

Make more room for Cards in record book following
victory against rival St. Mary


Gaylord Herald Times

GAYLORD — Ski Valley Conference rivals St. Mary and Johannesburg-Lewiston clashed at the St. Mary gymnasium Tuesday night with the visiting Cardinals pulling away with a 25-9, 25-10 and 25-13 sweep.

For the second consecutive match, a J-L player dented the state record books.

Against Forest Area last week, junior Julia Nieman made it for most assists in a match, and against the Snowbirds, junior Brittany Cherwinski placed her name in the MHSAA record books by notching 10 aces.

“It was very cool to have two records in two games,” said J-L coach Kristine Peppin. “This is a first in J-L volleyball history.”

Cherwinski was definitely a star of the evening, notching 23 total points. She also put in 12 digs and notched five kills.

“Our offense controlled the tempo,” Peppin said. “We had many opportunities to hit, and we served really well.” It was a tough outing for the Snowbirds, who were playing their first conference match of the season. “We had a lot of holes,” said St. Mary coach Becky Masko. “Our center court was wide open, and they cued in on it. Our serving and passing wasn’t great either.”

There was no clear winner at the start of the first game. The teams battled point-for-point at the beginning, and St. Mary kept within striking distance for awhile.

J-L senior Hannah Huff, however, went on a serving streak and racked up a number of points. The Snowbirds put up a few good blocks near the end of the game, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Cardinals from pulling away.

“We did great blocking at the net tonight,” Masko said.

With Cherwinski serving and the power of senior Abby Schlicher slamming down one kill after another, the Cardinals racked up 13 points before St. Mary could reply with one in game two. Some good plays came from St. Mary’s Caylee Lawnichak, Kari Borowiak and Sarah Long, but J-L still rolled.

“We served around 90 percent accuracy,” Peppin said. “Out of all of our serves, we only missed four. Serving has always been a strong suit for Joburg.”

The night’s games were wrapped up with another Cardinal win. St. Mary’s Alysse Masko and Jacquelyn Harbin both notched aces, but that did not stop the Cardinals from closing out the victory.

“We need to work on talking on the court and reading the other team,” coach Masko said.

For St. Mary, Long grabbed a trio of digs, while Borowiak and Lawnichak led the team in kills. Schlicher scored 10 total kills for the Cardinals, while Nieman tossed up 16 assists.

Huff notched 11 serving points, and Katelyn Weaver had eight digs.

After dropping a match last week against Forest Area in five games, J-L improved to 1-1 in league play. St. Mary also fell Wednesday at Forest Area, 25-11, 25-19 and 25-19.

St. Mary returns to action Tuesday at Pellston, while J-L hosts Mancelona Thursday.

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JOHANNESBURG — The Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball team fought the good fight Wednesday but came up just short to Forest Area in a marathon five-game match, 25-20, 24-26, 25-20, 21-25, 11-15.

“They (J-L) played their hearts out tonight,” said J-L coach Kristine Peppin. “There were so many plays that were made that shouldn't’t have been a save — so many great plays.”

Warriors’ coach Ron Stremlow was gracious in victory.

“That’s probably the best J-L team I’ve seen since they entered the conference,” the veteran coach said. “They had us on our heels quite a bit. It was a real crowd-pleaser.”

The good showing of fans was treated to more than 200 points in the match. The greatest lead any team held was seven points, which occurred once, and, on a separate instance, a six-point lead.

The powerful Forest Area squad took its first lead of the match when it scored its 17th point in the second game. During that game alone, the score was tied eight times.

According to Peppin, her team showed improvement since going 1-3 at a tournament hosted by Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart on Saturday.

“In Mount Pleasant, we let other teams have long runs, and we were playing catch-up,” she said. “Tonight, we traded points and did not play catch-up. The last game we got down, but that’s why we lost. That is a very disciplined team (Forest Area), and you can’t get behind like that and expect to catch up.”

During that tie breaking game, the Warriors sustained an eight-point run to take a 10-3 lead. Junior Tabitha Cecil served for seven of the points, by far the longest rally for either team.

Despite Forest Area’s stranglehold on the game at that point, the Cardinals mounted a quality comeback.

An Abby Schlicher kill led to a four-point run to close the gap. The senior captain displayed mid season power in her spikes and made her mark on the defensive side as well.

Junior Brittany Cherwinski and senior Katelyn Weaver stood out on the offensive side, and setter Julia Nieman stayed on target with most of the assists.

Despite the power of the Cardinals, it was the Warriors’ speed that ultimately led to their victory.

“Forest Area backed off the net a little bit on their defense, so it gave our hitters some space,” Peppin said. “They are great diggers and made some great plays.”

On the defensive end, libero Erin Kortman and Hannah Huff fearlessly dove for any shots that dropped.

“We have been working on our defense in practice,” Peppin said. “We hammered execution on defense — if that quick shot is there, then go ahead and take it, but first priority is to be in control defensively.”

The Cardinals move to a mark of 9-5 on the season and await a cross-county trip to see rival St. Mary on Tuesday.

“I am proud of the way they played tonight,” Peppin said. “Every game they show improvement, so I hope we can keep that going.”

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J-L netter's successful in quad

Gaylord Herald Times

HOUGHTON LAKE — The Johannesburg-Lewiston netter's took to the court in a quad meet at Houghton Lake Aug. 21 and fought to a perfect 3-0 record.

The Cardinals defeated Big Rapids Crossroads Academy (25-16, 25-20), Lake City (26-24, 25-20) and Houghton Lake (20-25, 25-17, 15-9).

“It was a great all-around team effort,” said coach Kristine Peppin. “A lot of girls contributed in different ways. I was especially pleased with our aggressive hitting. Five girls (Tiffany Nickert, Brittany Cherwinski, Abby Schlicher, Hannah Huff and Katelyn Weaver) were in double digits for kills.”

Nickert played the point leader on the night, totaling seven aces, 23 kills, three blocks and 22 digs. “(She) had an especially strong night,” Peppin said. “She accounted for almost 30 percent of all our points scored, whether off her powerful serve or racking up kills.”

Julia Nieman led the way at her setter position, collecting 43 assists, and Schlicher led the defense with 40 digs. The victory over Crossroads marked a milestone for Peppin, making it her 100th victory in her four-year high school coaching career.

Thursday, the team traveled to Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart for a tough invitational.

J-L finished the day 1-2 with a win against Tawas Area (25-19, 25-21), followed by losses to Clare (14-25, 15-25) and Beal City (20-25, 17-25).

“Katelyn Weaver did a tremendous job filling in at middle hitter with Tiffany Nickert medically unable to play,” Peppin said. “She (Weaver) was an all-around force at the net.” Schlicher and Cherwinski played well on the defensive side, combining for 79 digs. Offensively, each player had 12 kills. Huff led the team with 13 kills.

“Both of our losses came down to not being able to stop other teams from going on long scoring runs right at critical times in the game,”  Peppin said. Hopefully, as we continue on this season, we will learn from our early mistakes and not continue to repeat them.”

J-L (8-4) begins conference play at home today (Wednesday) against Forest Area. Nickert is probable to return to action.

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J-L opens volleyball season at Houghton Lake


HOUGHTON LAKE — Johannesburg-Lewiston started its highly anticipated volleyball season Friday with a third-place finish in the Houghton Lake Invitational.

The Cardinals defeated Whittemore-Prescott (25-16, 25-8), Harrison (25-20, 25-15) and Lake City (25-18, 25-18) and split with Beaverton (25-19, 20-25) and Houghton Lake (24-26, 25-22), before falling to the host Bobcats in the semifinals (21-25).

“I was pleased with our well-rounded hitting effort,” said J-L coach Kristine Peppin. “We had four girls with 20-plus kills and that is outstanding. We played solid all-around ball and put forth a good effort. Overall, it’s a good start to the season.”

Tiffany Nickert led the way with 33 kills, while Brittany Cherwinski had 29, Abby Schlicher 26 and Hannah Huff 21.

Nickert turned in 13 aces from the serving stripe, while Cherwinski added 12.

Setters Julia Nieman and freshman Sarah Korff, making her varsity debut, both had strong days, combining for 92 assists. Defensively, Schlicher and Cherwinski together had 105 digs.

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Experienced group of veterans has Cardinals seeing red

JOHANNESBURG— “From that day until now, that has been in the back of their minds,” said Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball coach Kristine Peppin. “It’s been more than just in the back of my mind since then.” Peppin, in her fourth year as coach of the Cardinals, referred to how last season ended for her team — a shocking loss to underdog Inland Lakes in straight games in the Class C District Finals.

The defeat came one night after J-L muscled out a victory against a tough Tawas Area team in a marathon five-game match. “It was so disappointing to play so well the night before and then have it end like that,” Peppin said.

With a little thorn in the memory banks, it may be a new season for the Cardinals, but many of the same faces return.

Last season’s setter, Chelsea Lemcool and libero, Meghan Makranyi graduated, but much of the team’s core is back on the floor this season. “We have a lot returning this year including some strong hitters,” said Peppin. “This is going to be a tough offense.”

The edges of the net will be patrolled by a couple of Weavers - Hailey, a junior, and Katelyn who returns for her senior season.

“Our outside hitters are very good,” Peppin said. “Katelyn and Hailey Weaver are two versatile players.” Also returning for grade 12 campaigns are Hannah Huff, Tiffany Nickert and Abby Schlicher. The latter two shared last year’s Gaylord Herald Times Area Player of the Year award.

Becky Michael, a first-year varsity player, joins the team this year as the final senior.

Alena Cassisi made the team this season as a junior and a glimpse of the future will be seen this season with freshman Sarah Korff. Stepping in to fill Lemcool’s sneakers at libero is Erin Kortman, who is already looking comfortable in her new position.

“This is the first time she has played that position and she looks good so far,” Peppin said.
With plenty of playing time under her belt from her sophomore season, Julia Nieman is set to have a break out season this year. As a whole, 10 players from last year are returning to a team that will not be satisfied with just another winning season.

“Our No. 1 goal is always to win Districts but this season I am hoping we can move up in the conference,” Peppin said. The Ski Valley is a tough conference. Pellston, Forest Area, Onaway and Central Lake are the powers in what has become arguably one of the toughest conferences north of I-96.

Peppin also stated that if they get through the District, a Regional championship would not be considered a stretch. “Some of the seniors on this team are going into their third year starting on the varsity,” Peppin said. “We went to a new camp this summer where we faced some tough teams, bigger teams. We hung right in there with some tough competition.”

J-L began their season Friday at a tournament in Houghton Lake. Tuesday they return to Houghton Lake for a dual meet followed by a tournament at Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart on Thursday.

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Updated 6/19/13
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