2010-04-08 / Sports

Lady Bobcats continue to contend in the pool

BY LISA PAINE

Grand Blanc’s Jessica Martin looked for a pass opening. Photo by Andy Novajovsky Grand Blanc’s Jessica Martin looked for a pass opening. Photo by Andy Novajovsky GENESEE COUNTY — A full slate kept the Grand Blanc water polo team busy prior to Spring Break, with mixed results against a talented slew of opponents.

Last Tuesday, Walled Lake offered little fight as Grand Blanc pulled out the 16-1 win. Carly Miller led with 9 goals, while Sam Wyles chipped in with two and Taylor DuQuette, Lauren Baywol, Sam Pinter, Alyssa LaHaie, and Kayla Cornell each bent the net for one.

“This was a good game for us to lead into Grand Blanc's spring break with a lot of confidence,” said coach Dan Command. “We got out to a quick start and big lead. This game allowed us to work on other aspects of the game that we would not be able to work on in a very competitive game. The second half we stopped all breakaways and really setup our offense to work on our new offense. We are now 6-6 and really looking to improve that record after spring break.”

On March 23, Grand Blanc eked out the 11-10 win over Haslett after Miller again notched 9 goals, wtih Pinter and Cornell each adding one.

“We did not play our best game against Haslett, but we did pull it out to get the win,” Command added. “This was our first dual game of the season, and a win is a win. What the game did show us was that we could win a close game that was taken right to the last possession. On the offensive end, Miller was the reason why we were in the game. She is a great player and had one of the most individually dominating performances I have ever seen. Haslett tried to switch up its defense to account for Miller, but she took what ever they gave her and she scored at will.”

On March 25, Troy faced the onslaught of talent from Grand Blanc and lost, 5-3. Miller scored four goals, while Cornell and Lauren Baywol each scored two.

“This was the best complete game I have ever seen a Grand Blanc girls water polo team play,” Command said. “Almost a perfect game and the hard work that the girls have put in all season was shown. Troy is a team that in the past and recent years has dominated Grand Blanc. We never trailed in the game and really enforced our game plan.”

Freshman goalie Claire Pilarski got the start in goal and played an eye-opening game, says Command.

The following day was the Ann Arbor Pioneer/Ann Arbor Skyline Tournament, with Grand Blanc losing to Saline, 11-6.

Miller topped the charts again with three goals, while Pinter, Wyles and Cornell each had one.

“Saline is the defending state champions and brought back the majority of their championship team from last year,” Command noted. “This is very big, fast and talented team. We showed that we could compete with them.”

Grand Blanc got close on March 27, but was edged by Ann Arbor Huron, 7-6.

Baywol was the leader in this one with three goals, while Miller, Duquette and Cornell each put one between the pipes.

“Ann Arbor Huron is the state runnersup from last season,” says Command “We had back-to-back games against the two teams that were in the state championship from last year. Lauren Baywol really utilized her speed to have a very nice game with some skillful goals. Pilarski had another dominated performance holding the offensive Juggernaut team of Huron to

goals while recording 14 saves.”

Last Saturday East Kentwood got the better of Grand Blanc, 13-5, with Miller scoring three goals and Cornell, two. Up next was Dexter, which the Lady Cats edged, 11-10.

Topping the charts were Miller and Baywol with three goals apiece, with single efforts coming from Pinter, Wyles, Cornell, LaHaie and Duquette.

“A sudden death overtime win was just the way to end a tournament in Ann Arbor,” Command said. “In the sixth game in five days all of the girls were very tired by this point.The girls dug deep and pulled off a win in a very close game.”

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