Multiple Cardinals named to all-region volleyball team
JOHANNESBURG - The all-region volleyball team was announced this past week and it featured four Johannesburg-Lewiston players and head coach Kristine Peppin as the coach of the year.
The highlight of the selections was the coach of the year honors being awarded to Peppin. Before Peppin arrived as the head volleyball coach for JLHS, the team was an afterthought and towards the bottom of the standings.
Peppin has turned the Cardinals into a legitimate contender in the northern Michigan area every year and this year was no different. The Cardinals finished off their best regular season in program history and set numerous records in the process.
The Cardinals' head coach has instilled an attitude that no matter the size of their team or the number of subs they have, they will fight and most of the time they will win. There is constant communication between the players and Peppin throughout the match.
When you watched JLHS volleyball you could tell the players trusted her and that she was a major factor in their volleyball development. She wanted to win just as badly as her players did because she cares about them and wanted them to be successful. She was just as excited when a new record was set as the player was.
"It is an honor to be selected as coach of the year," Peppin said. "We had a lot of success this season and a big factor in that was the coach-ability of my players. They were always committed to working hard and doing what was needed for the good of the team."
The players that were selected were sophomore Jayden Marlatt, junior Grace Baragrey, and seniors Autumn Vermilya and Delaney Hogle.
Marlatt was the only Cardinals' player selected to the all-region first team following the best statistical season in school history. Marlatt was also the only unanimous selection.
Grace Baragrey was the force in the middle for the Cardinals all season. Her selection was due to the blocks and power that she displayed throughout the season. She was a presence at the net every night which led to her setting the all-time blocks record in JLHS history with 62.
Autumn Vermilya became the best passer in school history with her record-setting assist total. She broke the school record for the most assists in a single season that had stood for over 10 seasons. Her 1,207 assists and 9.2 assists per game were both records. Her leadership and communication were key to the success of the Cardinals.
Lastly, the libero, Delaney Hogle, was selected for her impressive display of service receptions and digs. Hogle finishes her career with the Cardinals as the all-time leader for the most serve receptions. She was always in the right spot and kept her team in the point. Without her ability to keep tough points alive, JLHS could not have set the records they did.
"I am super proud of my team's success this year," Peppin said. "Having multiple players selected to the all-region team is a testament to their hard work and dedication."
Following the record-breaking season, there is no doubt that the Cardinals were worthy of these selections. Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball will miss their seniors like Vermilya and Hogle but are in great hands with the coach of the year, Kristine Peppin, and Marlatt and Baragrey returning for next season.
Johannesburg-Lewiston's Jayden Marlatt named GHT Fall Female MVP
JOHANNESBURG - Johannesburg-Lewiston's volleyball star Jayden Marlatt wins the GHT Fall Female MVP.
The sophomore has done nothing but impress since she joined the varsity team as a freshman last season. Marlatt put together an extremely impressive season last year where she played against players older than she was the whole season.
Her sophomore season was even better and might just be the best season in school history. Marlatt's versatility and power led the Cardinals to the most wins in school history with a 49-4 record.
She also set the single-season kills record that was set in 2019. Marlatt recorded 493 kills throughout the season and despite every team knowing that the Cardinals wanted to have Marlatt get the ball, she still dominated all season long.
Marlatt's presence on the net was not the only skill that she brought to the Cardinals this year. She also recorded the second-most service aces with 84 and the second-most digs with 410. She has the skills to be in the back row diving for digs or on the net powering down kills.
"She was the backbone of our team," head coach Kristine Peppin said. "Her season was pretty rare and special."
Marlatt was the only unanimous selection for the Ski Valley all-conference first team which is voted by the coaches of the teams within the conference.
Many people weren't sure how Marlatt would top her freshman season and she was able to top that mark. Look out for her final two seasons as this will likely not be the last time Marlatt receives honors and breaks records.
Record-breaking year turns into a heartbreaking loss for the Cardinals
EAST JORDAN - The Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball team saw their season end with a heartbreaking loss against Charlevoix in the district championship.
The Cardinals started hot in the districts by easily defeating St. Ignace 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-18) in the first round. They carried that momentum into the second match where they took care of Harbor Springs 3-0 (25-7, 25-10, 25-12) as well.
This set up a match on Thursday night against Charlevoix for the district championship and a chance to advance to the MHSAA regional tournament. After taking a 2-0 lead it seemed like the best regular season in school history was going to translate to a deep postseason run.
The Cardinals seemed to pull out every close match the entire season which is impressive given the lack of depth on their bench. Every time JLHS got tired they found a way to dig deep and pull it out. Thursday night they just ran out of gas and dropped the final three sets in just their fourth loss of the season (25-23, 25-20, 20-25, 19-25, 16-18).
Johannesburg-Lewiston was so close to pulling it out as they had match point twice in the final set but just couldn't find the last point. The effort and passion were never a problem for the Cardinals and they had several impressive performers in the match. JLHS had three players who tallied double-digit kills with Jayden Marlatt (19), Jocelyn Tobias (17), and Grace Baragrey (14).
JLHS was also leading 20-17 in the third set and then Charlevoix turned up the intensity, grabbed the momentum, and never gave it back. One major factor in the team's loss was unforced errors. There is bound to be nerves in a championship match and at times that reigned true. The Cardinals had 13 service errors to accompany 29 hitting errors.
"Had we minimized that to even half that number of errors, I know it would've been a much different game and outcome," head coach Kristine Peppin said. "It was our lowest serving percentage of the season and the missed serves were at critical times in the game."
The final set was one of the best volleyball sets that any fan can see. The intensity in the East Jordan gymnasium was unlike anything either team had faced this season. The Cardinals never gave up and put themselves with a chance to win in that set despite the fatigue that the team would never admit to having.
The final set had to be played an extra few points and Charlevoix had some great digs to keep their hopes alive. Grace Baragrey had a huge fifth set and as it seemed the Cardinals couldn't find anyone to get kills when they needed it, Baragrey stepped up.
"I am proud of their fight right through to the final points of game 5," Peppin said. "We played aggressively and didn't give up. Regardless of the outcome of this final game, this team was a joy to coach."
The Cardinals' season comes to an end following a season in which they broke the all-time wins record in team history and multiple players set individual records. Peppin has turned this program into a major factor and their successes are just getting started as a program.
Charlevoix's drive delivers comeback district championship over J-L
By Drew Kochanny - Petoskey News Review
EAST JORDAN — The Charlevoix volleyball team was good as done.
The season was over. Packed up and heading to winter sports.
Down two games and needing to pull off three straight wins against a Johannesburg-Lewiston team that hoarded every ounce of momentum through the first two games, it wasn’t exactly looking great for the Rayder volleyball team in their Division 3 district championship match in East Jordan Thursday night.
But, there was one problem with counting Charlevoix out of it: they didn’t want it to be all over. Not yet.
And sometimes, when the postseason rolls around, a team's will and how much they want it is bigger than anything.
The Rayders rallied from that 2-0 deficit, overcame a late deficit in the third set, rolled in the fourth, then escaped with just enough left in the tank for a five-set victory and district title win over the Cardinals.
Charlevoix head coach Audra Randall has been around the block with her Rayder teams over the years, with district titles, regional thrillers and more, but Thursday’s match might take the cake in heart-stopping moments.
“That’s the best match I’ve ever coached in,” said Randall, still shocked and catching her breath even after the trophy presentation. “I’ve been on the side when we won two, then lost three two times in a row and almost questioned my coaching ability at the time, then the next year we won in five. But still, this one was so tight through the whole thing.”
What it came down to in the end, for Randall, was that want.
“I’m so proud of the girls,” she added. “A lot of it was, we didn’t want this to be our last game on the court. That’s what we kept saying in the timeouts. It was about keeping our head together and not letting it be our last day. And it wasn’t.”
That same belief and will that Randall kept in her mind with each point gained, Charlevoix players did as well, with senior Grace Lentz pushing through in the biggest moments.
JLHS volleyball sets school record for wins and wraps up the regular season
FIFE LAKE - The Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball team wrapped up a historic season with three more wins in the Forest Area Quad.
The teams included were JLHS, Forest Area, Central Lake, and Traverse City Christian. The record for wins in a season was 46 and the Cardinals went into the event with 44. With their 3-0 record in the event, they recorded a school-record 47 wins that stood since 2012.
The Cardinals defeated Forest Area 2-1 (25-11, 24-26, 15-10), Central Lake 2-0 (25-9, 25-18), and TC Christian 2-0 (25-22, 25-17).
The wins record was not the only record that was broken. Three more individual school records fell to this 2021 team as well.
Jayden Marlatt broke the record for the most kills in a single season with 460. Grace Baragrey recorded her 58th block of the season which was good for another school record. Lastly, Autumn Vermilya set the record for the most assists in school history with 1,101.
The kills record was previously set in 2019, while the blocks record stood since 2010 and the assists record since 2009.
"Overall the girls had a good day," head coach Kristine Peppin said. "We had good games especially against TCC and we are geared up for the playoffs now."
Emily Crandell once again led the Cardinals statistically with eight service aces. Baragrey and Marlatt accounted for 42 total kills combined as they keep their impressive season going. Vermilya had an eye-popping 64 assists and Baragrey also led defensively with four blocks.
The playoffs began this past week with three matches in the district tournament. The Cardinals will be looking to carry their momentum to the playoffs and make a deep run. This team has already made history and have the players in place to do damage and keep setting records.
Cardinals dig deep in tri-match against Lincoln-Alcona and Inland Lakes
JOHANNESBURG - The Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball team added another exclamation point to their week with victories over Lincoln-Alcona and Inland Lakes.
The Cardinals played Tuesday night at home for the final time this season with a tri-match format. Each of the three schools played each other and JLHS defeated Lincoln-Alcona 2-0 (25-13, 25-7) and Inland Lakes 2-1 (21-25, 26-24, 15-13).
These two matches came right on the heels of a marathon match against Pellston to win the Ski Valley Conference. Head coach Kristine Peppin said the conditioning and toughness were going to be a factor heading into the event. This was the third event for the Cardinals in just four days.
In the first match of the day for JLHS, they dominated against Lincoln-Alcona. Emily Crandell and Kylie Sietman were a force in the service game with 19 points between the two of them. Lincoln-Alcona couldn't get into a rhythm on offense with the service game taking over and the Cardinals flew to a quick 2-0 win.
The match with Inland Lakes was a test for Johannesburg-Lewiston. After losing the first set and trailing for large portions of the second and third sets, it looked like it just wasn't going to be the Cardinals' day. One thing we have learned throughout this season is that the Cardinals never give up and they clawed out their tightest win of the season.
"Playing with composure at the end of a match, despite the score, takes mental toughness and the girls really showed that," Peppin said. "Calm under pressure was the name of the game to end it."
Serena Hogle's service was key down the stretch for JLHS with two huge aces in the last few point of the second set. Jayden Marlatt was the difference in the third set as she finished out the match with back-to-back kills.
Crandell led the team with five aces, Marlatt led with 19 kills, and Delaney Hogle was the defensive force with 18 digs.
The Cardinals will start their postseason on Monday night against St. Ignace where the winner will play on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Harbor Springs. The district championship will then be on Thursday against the winner of the match between Charlevoix and East Jordan.
Johannesburg-Lewiston wins back-to-back conference championships
JOHANNESBURG - The Johannesburg-Lewiston Cardinals have won the Ski Valley Conference for the second year in a row after defeating Pellston 3-2 (25-15, 23-25, 25-9, 28-30, 15-11) on Monday night.
The Cardinals had never won a conference title before last season and now under head coach Kristine Peppin, the team has done it back-to-back. It came down to the very last set in the very last conference game for JLHS to clinch the outright title.
The Cardinals finish the conference season with a perfect 8-0 mark and are just four wins away from the most wins in program history. Inland Lakes finished with a 7-1 record but couldn't catch this all-time great Cardinals team.
To clinch the outright title it all came down to their match against Pellston and they were off and running after winning the first set. It was Delaney Hogle's service that made the difference as she went on an eight-point run that put the Hornets away and got JLHS going.
The Cardinals' momentum would halt as they lost the second set, but the third set was all JLHS and sophomore Jayden Marlatt. Her six-point service run and several kills were enough to put the Cardinals back in the driver's seat.
Pellston fought hard and was able to take the fourth set to set up a must-win final set for JLHS. It was back and forth the entire final fifth set, but the play of Jocelyn Tobias and Kennedy Johnson made the difference in the last five points to get the win.
"We train hard to go for the win," Peppin said. "We succeeded at staying calm under pressure while still serving well and hitting hard. It was a great match and a hard-fought victory."
Marlatt and Autumn Vermilya were outstanding and a huge reason why the Cardinals won. Vermilya set the MHSAA record for assists with 48 on the day, while Marlatt's 22 kills were just shy of setting a record as well.
Other key statistics were the service games of Delaney Hogle and Emily Crandell who combined for 11 aces in the match. Johnson and Grace Baragrey each added two blocks defensively as well.
The Cardinals are the Ski Valley champions and they will play Monday in the first round of the playoffs with high expectations and desires to do something special. They have had one of the best seasons in school history and all eyes will be on them to see how far they can make it.
Cardinals' big week continues with Ski Valley Conference tournament championship
PELLSTON - Johannesburg-Lewiston's winning ways and big week continued with another tournament title on Saturday.
The Cardinals won the Ski Valley Conference tournament on Saturday to go along with their conference regular-season title they earned at least a share of on Tuesday. JLHS volleyball also won the Boyne City tri-tournament on Thursday.
The conference tournament hosted all of the teams within the Ski Valley Conference except for St. Mary. (Pellston, Bellaire, Forest Area, Central Lake, Inland Lakes, Onaway, Mancelona, and Johannesburg-Lewiston).
During pool play, the Cardinals defeated Onaway 2-0 (25-23, 25-20), Forest Area 2-0 (25-18, 25-18), and Mancelona 2-0 (25-20, 25-5). The highlights of pool play were some big finishes from Jayden Marlatt and Grace Baragrey. Those two stars combined for 34 kills in the first two matches.
Marlatt's 61 kills were a tournament-high and she had great efficiency with a 39 point percentage. She is now just 59 kills away from setting the record for the most kills in a single season in school history.
Emily Crandell was also a bright spot with 15 service points against Mancelona which was the most the team had in a single match for the entire tournament.
The Cardinals' path through the knockout stages were Bellaire, Pellston, and Onaway. JLHS won both of the first two matches in straight sets (Bellaire 25-15, 25-14; Pellston 25-20, 25-9).
The match against Pellston was much anticipated as Pellston is the only team remaining who can share the conference title with Johannesburg-Lewiston. Kylie Sietman's service game was too much for the Hornets and the Cardinals set up a championship match with Onaway.
The championship match was won by the Cardinals 2-1 (21-25, 25-20, 16-14). The three-set thriller came down to an extra point being needed and it was a great serve from Sietman that closed the door.
"The composure and willingness to go for the win was impressive," head coach Kristine Peppin said. "They didn't give up and it paid off in a big way."
The tournament championship is the sixth tournament title of the season. The Cardinals are now just one win away from clinching sole possession of the Ski Valley regular-season title. JLHS will have a chance to win it on Monday night when they play Pellston at home.
The Cardinals' historic season has placed them just five wins from setting the record for the most wins in school history. They currently stand at 41-3 to put themselves behind only the 2012 team.
Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball clinches conference title
JOHANNESBURG - The Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball team has added another accolade to their many accomplishments this season. They have clinched at least a share of the Ski Valley Conference title.
The Cardinals needed to defeat Bellaire on Tuesday night in order to clinch a share of the title and they did so in dominant fashion. JLHS won in straight sets 25-8, 25-15, 25-11.
JLHS has not lost a conference game this season and has won handily in almost every match they played. The Cardinals' effort on Tuesday night was led by sophomore Jayden Marlatt who led the team with 12 kills. Marlatt had a 58 percent hitting rate and also accounted for 3 service aces.
Kylie Sietman led the Cardinals with 4 service aces and was 17 for 17 on service attempts, while Autumn Vermilya was the leader in assists and blocks. Grace Baragrey and Jocelyn Tobias also added 8 kills each in a total team effort.
Serving has been a point of emphasis all season for the Cardinals as they know it will be crucial if they want to make a deep postseason run. The team served at a 93 percent clip in the match and five Cardinals players served a perfect percentage.
"We had a lot of returning girls this season," head coach Kristine Peppin said. "Winning the conference was a goal. Coming into the season you want to do well in the postseason and you want to do well in your conference. We played one game at a time and it was a goal for us."
While winning the conference was a goal for JLHS their postseason aspirations are important as well. They certainly have the talent to win some games and compete at the highest level and they have proved that all season long. The entire team has had high expectations since the first match and every player has stepped up and accepted that challenge.
The Cardinals have a chance to take sole possession of the conference title next week if they defeat Pellston at home on Monday. The match will also be senior night as it is the last home regular-season match of the season.
Cardinals volleyball takes second place in Inland Lakes Invitational
INDIAN RIVER - The Johannesburg-Lewiston Cardinals continued their historically great season with a runner-up finish in the Inland Lakes tournament on Saturday.
12 schools were included in the invitational with schools varying in size, but mostly much bigger schools than JLHS. Schools included Alpena, Elk Rapids, Inland Lakes, Johannesburg-Lewiston, Mackinaw City, Oscoda, Petoskey, Pickford, Rudyard, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Ignace, and St. Francis.
During the pool play portion, JLHS defeated Oscoda (25-15, 25-17) and Mackinaw City (25-13, 25-21). The Cardinals would lose to Sault Ste. Marie (19-25, 23-25). Their 2-1 record was good enough to advance them into the knock-out stages as the second seed in their group.
The quarterfinal matchup for JLHS was against Rudyard who earned the top seed out of their group. The Cardinals won that match in straight sets (25-19, 25-18). Grace Baragrey led the way with 8 kills along with Jayden Marlatt who added 5 more. Those two along with great defensive efforts from Delaney Hogle, Serena Hogle, and Emily Crandell, were enough to move into the semifinal matchup.
Elk Rapids would be the team that stood in the way for the Cardinals and a fourth tournament championship appearance this year. JLHS was able to narrowly defeat them in a dramatic three-set match (23-25, 25-18, 15-4).
The Cardinals struggled at first with the size of Elk Rapids on the net, but their well-rounded attack eventually got back into form. Marlatt led the way with a team-high 10 kills, while it was the Hogle sisters and Crandell that stood their ground against the big hitting Elk Rapids team and totaled 21 digs between them.
The championship match was a familiar one for the Cardinals as they once again played Sault. Ste. Marie. This was the second time JLHS matched up against them in a championship match and also the second time they played them that day. This time Sault Ste. Marie was able to get their revenge with a 2-1 victory (23-25, 25-14, 11-15).
Despite the Cardinals outscoring Sault Ste. Marie in the three sets combined, some mental mistakes in key spots put JLHS in a tough spot and they couldn't get another tournament victory. Marlatt once again led the team with 14 kills and Jocelyn Tobias had one of her best matches of the season adding 10 more. Delaney Hogle was very impressive defensively as well with 15 digs and 26 serve receptions.
"Overall, I'm very happy with our performance today," head coach Kristine Peppin said. "We had an off game in pool play but bounced back with vengeance. I consider it a great day for our team and I am proud of their effort."
Johannesburg-Lewiston is in a battle for the conference championship and will play against Bellaire on Tuesday at 6:00 PM.
JLHS volleyball stays red hot with another tournament championship
ST. IGNACE - The Cardinals volleyball team cannot be stopped, as they roll through the St. Ignace Invite and take home their third tournament title this season.
Nine teams competed this past Saturday in the tournament including St. Ignace, Mackinaw City, Inland Lakes, Sault St. Marie, Cheboygan, Boyne Falls, Newberry, Rogers City, and Johannesburg-Lewiston.
In the pool play portion, the Cardinals kept up their winning ways as they took down Boyne Falls (25-4, 25-18, 25-13, 25-17) in two matches. JLHS also defeated Cheboygan (23-25, 25-11, 22-25, 25-9) which was enough to advance them to the semifinal.
Johannesburg-Lewiston faced off against Inland Lakes which was one of the tightest matches the Cardinals have played so far this season narrowly winning each set (27-25, 26-24).
This would then set up an instant classic against Sault St. Marie which took all three sets and extended play before the Cardinals captured a 2-1 tournament championship victory (25-22, 19-25, 23-21).
"Each girl on the team had outstanding contributions and fulfilled an important role in the victories today," head coach Kristine Peppin said. "I can think of moments from throughout the day that each of them shined bright and made a key play at just the right time."
The championship match won't soon be forgotten for the Cardinals as it took an entire team effort and attention to detail to capture their third trophy this year. JLHS has not been tested in tight matches a whole lot this season with most of their wins coming in blowout fashion, so it was important the Cardinals could prove they can win in close games as well.
"I am really proud of their effort and composure at the end of the match," Peppin said. "Our mantra is to go leave it all out on the court and go for the win. More often than not, that attitude pays off and we come away with victories in tight games because of it."
Emily Crandell once again led the serving attack for JLHS with 52 total service points, while Delaney Hogle was a rock defensively tallying 83 service receptions.
Johannesburg-Lewiston was led at the net by Jayden Marlatt who was a major force all day long and would finish with 65 kills and 43 digs which both led the team.
JLHS volleyball continues to steamroll through their schedule and are setting up one of the best seasons in school history. They are now 26-1 on the season and have been very impressive with how each team member has stepped up. The whole roster is playing at an elite level.
The Cardinals season continues next Tuesday against Onaway at 6:30 p.m.
Cardinals dominant season continues with Grayling Invite championship
GRAYLING - The Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball team has done it again by winning their second invite of the season.
The Grayling Invite was thought to be a major test for the Cardinals as there were 10 teams competing and most of the teams were much bigger than JLHS. That didn't stop the Cardinals from winning in dominant fashion as they have done all season long.
The 10 teams that were involved were JLHS, Gaylord, Grayling, Roscommon, Lake City, Mio, Bellaire, Lincoln-Alcona, Tawas, and Rogers City.
JLHS started off in pool play by winning against Rogers City (25-13, 25-13), Gaylord (25-21, 25-15), and Tawas (25-12, 25-20). The Cardinals then split with Roscommon (17-25, 25-21) to end up as the top seed heading into the knock-out stages.
Johannesburg-Lewiston then went on to defeat Grayling in the semi-final in dominant fashion with a 25-13 and a 25-10 straight-set victory. The win then set up a championship match against Lake City.
The championship match started off with JLHS winning the first set 25-21. The Cardinals then were defeated 8-25 in the second set, but bounced back and defeated Lake City 15-9 in the third set to win the invitational.
Grace Baragrey led the way for Johannesburg-Lewiston with 10 service aces, 53 kills, and 12 blocks which were all team highs.
Delaney Hogle was a key factor defensively for the Cardinals as she recorded a team-high 57 digs.
Another bright spot for JLHS was the play of Autumn Vermilya who had a remarkable 118 assists on the day for the Cardinals and was a vocal team leader throughout the tournament.
"Everyone had to do their part," head coach Kristine Peppin said. "They played outstanding and battled hard. I am really proud of their intensity and their camaraderie. It really came through on the court."
JLHS volleyball is now 19-1 overall and 3-0 within their conference. The Cardinals will look to continue one of the best seasons in school history on Tuesday night at home against Inland Lakes at 5:30 p.m.
Cardinals volleyball takes first place at the J-L Invite Tournament
By Andrew Fish - Petoskey News Review
JOHANNESBURG - Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball continued to shine in the early season with a first-place finish in the JL Varsity Invite.
The Cardinals dominated right from the first serve as each team in the invite played six matches and JLHS went 6-0 to take the crown. The Cardinals defeated Gaylord St. Mary, Tawas, Ellsworth, Cedarville, and Lincoln-Alcona in the group stage to set up a championship rematch against Tawas High School where they won in straight sets.
The team has now won 11 matches in a row to start the season and won every match in the tournament in straight sets. If that is not impressive enough, the Cardinals also only allowed one team to get to 20 or more points in the entire invitational.
“They have a never-quit attitude,” head coach Kristine Peppin said. “There were some diving plays, followed by girls who were ready to send it over. They were following through and making every situation into offense.