Golden Grizzlies Complete Season With Future In Mind
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The 2001 volleyball season proved to be a real team building experience for the Golden Grizzlies. The season that Oakland knew would be a tough one has come and gone, and head coach Ed Tolentino is eager to reap the benefits next season.

Oakland broke into its season with a 3-0 win against Delaware State at the US Airways Classic. The Golden Grizzlies defeated DSU by the scores of 30-10, 30-15 and 30-12. Leading the way for Oakland were seniors Tess Pierce, Carmen Trippett and Cloretta Porter. Pierce recorded six kills and a .367 attack percentage, while Porter hit .400 with eight kills and Trippett hit .235 with seven kills. Pierce also led the squad with five blocks.

The Golden Grizzlies next match resulted in a 0-3 loss against Robert Morris at the US Airways Classic. Robert Morris defeated Oakland in the opening match of the day by the scores of 30-27, 30-16 and 30-23. Senior Cloretta Porter (Battle Creek/St. Phillips HS) led the Golden Grizzlies offensively with 10 kills. She was followed by fellow seniors Tess Pierce (Yorkville, Illinois/Yorkville HS) and Carmen Trippett (Albion/Albion HS) with seven and six kills, respectively. Sophomore Kaili Klieman (St. Clair/St. Clair HS) led OU at the net with five blocks and Trippett added three to the Oakland total. Freshman Becca Moller (Columbiaville/Lakeville Memorial HS) recorded 21 assists in the Oakland loss.

The Golden Grizzlies came back in the third and final game of the US Airways Classic with a 3-0 win over Rider College. The Grizzlies defeated Rider College 30-28, 30-18 and 30-26. With the victory, OU improved to 2-1 and RC fell to 1-2. Pierce guided the Golden Grizzlies with 11 kills and 10 blocks. Trippett followed closely with nine kills and nine blocks and freshman Karen Conger (Marysville/Marysville HS) tallied nine kills. Porter added seven blocks for Oakland. Moller recorded 40 assists in the victory.

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Katie Lozier (L) and Tess Pierce

OUs’ next four matches took place at the Cleveland State Tournament where they went 2-2 overall. The ladies first match-up was against Towson and Oakland fell 2-3. The second match was against host Cleveland State where they were defeated 0-3. In that match the Vikings defeated OU by the scores of 30-23, 30-22 and 30-19. Leading the way for the Golden Grizzlies was senior Cloretta Porter (Battle Creek/St. Phillips HS) with 12 kills and a .240 attack percentage. Freshman Karen Conger (Marysville/Marysville HS) and senior Tess Pierce (Yorkville, Illinois/Yorkville HS) followed with eight and seven kills, respectively. Freshman Katie Lozier (Clinton Twp./Chippewa Valley HS) led the Golden Grizzlies with 18 assists in two games played.

Oakland’s’ first win of the tournament took place in their third match against Niagara with a score of 3-0. OU defeated Niagara 30-28, 30-25 and 30-22. Seniors Cloretta Porter (Battle Creek/St. Phillips HS) and Tess Pierce (Yorkville, Illinois/Yorkville HS) led the way for OU offensively with 13 and 11 kills, respectively. Following closely behind was freshman Karen Conger (Marysville/Marysville HS) with 10 kills. Porter hit .524 in the first match, while Pierce recorded a .308 attack percentage. Freshman Becca Moller (Columbiaville/Lakeville Memorial HS) guided the Golden Grizzlies with 34 assists and Conger and sophomore Cortney Varterasian led the way defensively with 13 and 12 digs, respectively. Pierce recorded 13 blocks to lead OU in the victory over Niagara.

In the day's finale, the Golden Grizzlies defeated Canisius 30-28, 30-25 and 30-22 to improve to 4-3 this season. Pierce and Conger led OU once again with 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Senior Carmen Trippett (Albion/Albion HS) also played extremely well as she recorded nine kills, with only one error, in 14 attempts for a .571attack percentage. Moller posted 34 assists in the victory and Conger tallied 11 digs.

The next four games for the Golden Grizzlies were either postponed or cancelled giving them a break until they met Central Michigan home at the Athletics Center ‘O’rena. Oakland dropped three straight matches by the scores of 30-21, 34-32 and 31-29 to the Chippewas. The Golden Grizzlies played aggressive throughout the three matches but Central Michigan proved to be too powerful. Leading the Golden Grizzlies was senior Cloretta Porter (Battle Creek/St.Philips) with 10 kills and one block assist. Freshman

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Karen Conger

Karen Conger (Marysville/Marysville) proved to be a valuable asset to the Grizzlies finishing the night with eight kills, one ace and six digs. Senior Tess Pierce (Yorkville IL./Yorkville) rounded out the offensive attack with seven kills and one dig. Freshman setter Katie Lozier (Clinton Township/Chippewa Valley) ran the show with 32 assists on the night and five digs.

Once again the Golden Grizzlies hit the road to travel to IUPUI on Friday, September 21. Oakland won the first game 30-21 before IUPUI came back to take the final three 30-19, 30-25 and 32-30. The victory raised IUPUI's record to 2-7 and 1-0 in Mid-Con play, while Oakland fell to 4-5 overall and stands at 0-1 in the conference. Oakland jumped out to an early 10-3 lead in game one behind three service aces and four consecutive points on Karen Conger's serve. IUPUI never got closer than five points the rest of the way as the Jaguars committed seven first-game service errors. The Golden Grizzlies led 4-1 early in game two and were within one point at 18-17 before IUPUI took control. The Jags scored 12 of the game's final 14 points to even the match at one game apiece. Oakland hit only -.054 during the second game. Game three saw the Jaguars outhit Oakland .300 to .136 to take a 2-1 lead. Game four was a back and forth affair with neither team leading by more than five points the entire game. IUPUI held five match points with a 29-24 lead before Oakland stormed back with six straight points. It wasn't enough as the Jags closed out the match with three straight points. Cloretta Porter had a game-high 19 kills to lead Oakland (4-5, 0-1 Mid-Con). Tess Pierce hit .346 and had 11 kills. Beth Ann Rourk and Kim Cook had 12 digs and 11 digs, respectively. Katie Lozier added 48 assists.

Another disappointing loss was around the next corner as the team headed to Valparaiso for its second conference match. The Golden Grizzlies fell to the Valparaiso Crusaders in volleyball Saturday evening, 30-19, 30-21, 30-20, in Mid-Continent Conference action. Oakland falls to 4-6 overall and 0-2 in the Mid-Con. The Crusaders took control in the opening game, when Marion Hansen tallied three consecutive service aces to give Valpo an 8-4 lead. The Crusaders hit .486 (20-3-35) in the first game which propelled them to the win. Hansen hit .833, while Heather Hynds added six kills of her own in the opening stanza. In game two, the Crusaders defense was the story. Valpo held Oakland to -.079 hitting, forcing 11 attack errors on the Golden Grizzlies. The Crusaders broke open a 4-4 tie with a 7-0 run to take advantage of the second game. Game three saw the Valpo defense again hold the Oakland attack to .025 hitting, while the Crusaders hit .289. Valpo broke open a 9-9 tie with a 6-1 run to seize control of the match. Oakland was led by senior Cloretta Porter's 10 kills, while sophomore Cortney Varterasian added nine digs. Senior Tess Pierce tallied eight kills, while senior Carmen Trippett recorded seven.

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Clo Porter

The Oakland University women's volleyball team was defeated 3-0 by Bowling Green State University Tuesday, September 25 in Rochester. The Golden Grizzlies fell to 4-7 overall and the Falcons improve to 7-1. OU dropped three hard fought battles to BGSU. The Grizzlies kept it within reach but couldn't place themselves on top. Leading the way for Oakland was sophomore Cortney Varterasian (Ypsilanti/Ypsilanti) with 10 kills, one service ace, five digs and two blocks. Senior Tess Pierce (Yorkville IL/Yorkville) contributed 10 kills and two blocks, while senior Cloretta Porter (Battle Creek/St.Phillips) added nine kills and three digs to round out the offensive attack. Freshman setter Becca Moller (Columbiville/Lakeville Memorial) had 26 assists and seven digs on the evening.

OU had their next four games at home two of which were conference match ups. Their first match was against Western Illinois, September 28. But unfortunately the Grizzlies were dealt their eighth loss of the season. The Golden Grizzlies played a heated battle taking the Westerwinds to five games but OU struggled to pick up their first win at home. Western Illinois opened the match with a 31-29 win and OU bounced back to take the second game 30-19. The Golden Grizzlies kept the momentum rolling as the proceeded to take the third game 30-28, but that was where their luck ran short. Western Illinois took the final two games 30-28 and 15-9. Oakland was led by sophomore Cortney Varterasian (Ypsilanti/Ypsilanti HS) with 14 kills and 10 digs. Senior Cloretta Porter (Battle Creek/St.Phillips HS) contributed 13 kills, four digs and one solo block. Seniors Tess Pierce (Yorkville, IL/Yorkville HS) and Carmen Trippett (Albion/Albion HS) combined for 21 kills to lead Oakland at the net. Freshman setter Becca Moller (Columbiaville/Lakeville Memorial HS) tallied 47 assists on the night along with a team-leading 13 digs and two solo blocks.

The Golden Grizzlies were relieved to pick up their first win at home against Chicago State, Saturday, September 29, giving them not only their first win at home but also their first conference victory of the season. Oakland was anchored by senior Tess Pierce (Yorkville IL/Yorkville HS) with 12 kills, four blocks and a .524 hitting percentage. Senior Cloretta Porter (Battle Creek/St.Phillips HS) added nine kills, four digs and three blocks. Sophomore Kaili Klieman (St. Clair/St. Clair HS) rounded out the Grizzlies attack with eight kills and one block. Freshman Becca Moller (Columbiaville/Lakeville Memorial HS) proved to be consistent once again with 38 assists, six digs and two blocks. This victory also broke OUs’ five game losing streak.

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Carmen Trippett

The Oakland University women's volleyball team was defeated by non-conference opponent IPFW 3-2 Saturday evening, October 6, in Rochester. OU slips to 5-9 overall while IPFW improves to 9-7.

Oakland jumped out of the starting blocks with a close victory 33-31. The Mastadons turned the tables on OU with a 30-24 win and the Golden Grizzlies struck back with a 30-24 victory in game three. In the end IPFW proved to be too much for Oakland and won the last two games 30-22 and 15-3. OU was led by senior Tess Pierce (Yorkville, IL/Yorkville) with 25 kills, nine blocks and a .478 hitting percentage on the evening. Freshman Becca Moller (Columbiaville/Lakeville Memorial) helped the Golden Grizzlies with 46 assists, nine digs and three blocks. Senior Cloretta Porter (Battle Creek/St.Philips) was consistent once again with 13 kills, eight digs, and three blocks. Defensively, Oakland was led by sophomores Cortney Varterasian (Ypsalanti/Ypsalanti) and Lauren Bramos (Grosse Pointe/North)with 15 and 10 digs respectively.

Oakland’s last home game they would see for a while was a tough loss making their overall season 5-10. Wisconsin-Green Bay gave OU a tough match with a final score of 0-3. The Phoenix started off strong and never let up against OU. The Golden Grizzlies struggled through the three games falling 30-21, 30-21 and 30-27. Leading OU was senior Cloretta Porter (St.Philips/Battle Creek) with eight kills and three digs. Freshman Becca Moller (Columbiaville/Lakeville Memorial) added 20 assists, three digs and three block assists in the OU loss. Juniors Cortney Varterasian (Ypsilanti/Ypsilanti)and Lauren Bramos (Grosse Pointe/North) led OU in digs with nine apiece.

The Golden Grizzlies found themselves on the road again for the next five games of their season. It was a tough five games giving Oakland five straight losses. Their first opponent OU met was the Michigan Wolverines. The Golden Grizzlies lost the three games 30-15, 30-22 and 30-26. As a team OU hit only .135 with 31 kills, while Michigan hit .345 with 60 kills. OU recorded six team blocks and the Wolverines tallied eight. Leading the way for the Golden Grizzlies was senior Cloretta Porter (Battle Creek/St. Phillips HS) with nine kills and five digs. Sophomore Kaili Klieman (St. Clair/St. Clair HS) and senior Carmen Trippett (Albion/Albion HS) each recorded six kills in the OU loss. Klieman hit .364 on the night, while Trippett posted an .500 attack percentage. Freshman Becca Moller (Columbiaville/Lakeville Memorial HS) led the team with her 21 assists and she posted four kills for the Golden Grizzlies.

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Kaili Klieman

Oakland’s’ next match was a conference contest against the Golden Eagles of Oral Roberts. OU lost to Oral Roberts by the scores of 30-12, 30-16 and 30-16 for its fourth Mid-Con loss this season. Leading the way for the Golden Grizzlies was sophomore Kaili Klieman with seven kills and a .235 attack percentage.

Sophomore Cortney Varterasian and senior Cloretta Porter followed with six kills apiece. Varterasian also led OU defensively with nine digs. OU’s second straight Mid-Continent Conference match up was on the road against UMKC. Oakland loss a disappointing match 1-3. OU dropped the first game 30-26 and the second 30-25 before rebounding to capture the third 30-19. Unfortunately for the Golden Grizzlies, the Kangaroos responded with a 30-16 victory in the fourth game for the 3-1 match victory. Leading the way for the Golden Grizzlies offensively were seniors Cloretta Porter (Battle Creek/St. Phillips HS) and Tess Pierce (Yorkville, IL/Yorkville HS). Porter recorded 12 kills, while Pierce tallied 11. Pierce returned to her consistent form against the Kangaroos and hit .346 for the match. Senior Carmen Trippett (Albion/Albion HS) followed with nine kills and a .273 attack percentage. Freshman Becca Moller (Columbiaville/Lakeville Memorial HS) recorded 35 assists, 10 digs and six block assists in the OU loss. Pierce and Trippett each recorded eight block assists apiece and Porter added five. The Golden Grizzlies as a team recorded 17 blocks.

Next up for the Golden Grizzlies was Toledo where Oakland fell 0-3 in volleyball action. Leading the way for the Golden Grizzlies was senior Tess Pierce (Yorkville, IL/Yorkville HS) who recorded 15 kills and a .750 attack percentage. Pierce also recorded three blocks to co-lead the OU volleyball squad. Freshman Becca Moller (Columbiaville/Lakeville Memorial HS) guided the Golden Grizzlies with 27 assists, seven digs and three blocks.

The Golden Grizzlies last road game of the five was at Central Michigan where they lost in three straight games, almost a replay of the game that took place earlier in the season against the Chippewas. But you could definitely tell that the ladies had made some big improvements through the season. Oakland lost by the scores 31-29, 30-28 and 30-21. The Golden Grizzlies fall to 5-15 overall, while Central Michigan improved to 5-13 on the season. The Golden Grizzlies were led by seniors Cloretta Porter (Battle Creek/St. Phillips HS) and Tess Pierce (Yorkville/Yorkville HS) at the net. Porter recorded 13 kills, while Pierce added 11. Pierce was Oakland's leading hitter as she hit .333 for the match.

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Beth Ann Rourk

Oakland was finally able to have a home game, this would only be their seventh home game of the season and only their third Conference home game. The match up was against a tough Valparaiso team to which we lost to earlier in the season on the road. Oakland fell quickly to the Crusaders in the first two matches but proved to be a contender as they went to a heated head-to-head battle in the third game before it slipped through the Grizzlies hands. Leading OU was senior Cloretta Porter (Battle Creek/St.Phillips) with 10 kills,11 digs, five blocks, one service ace and a .304 hitting percentage. Senior Carmen Trippett (Albion/Albion) and freshman Karen Conger (Marysville/Marysville) combined for 11 kills. Trippett finished with a .333 hitting percentage while Conger hit a .417 on the night. Freshman Katie Lozier (Clinton Township/Chippewa Valley) added 21 assists and four digs for Oakland in the loss.

OU would move forward to break their eight game losing streak against IUPUI in a very close game making final score of 3-2. This win would also give Oakland their second win in Conference play. Oakland came out in the first game with a burning desire to win after suffering an 0-3 loss the night before against Valpo. OU had not won since September 29th against Chicago State in Rochester. The Golden Grizzlies came out victorious in game one 31-29. The Jaguars jumped on OU in game two winning 30-27. Oakland played arguably its best game in the match in game three coming up with the win 30-14. The Golden Grizzlies hit .581 with 19 kills, one error and 31 attacks. IUPUI struck back defeating OU 30-16. Finally Oakland put the match to rest and sealed the victory with a 16-14 victory in game five. Leading Oakland was senior Tess Pierce (Yorkville IL/Yorkville) with 14 kills and nine block assists. Seniors Cloretta Porter (Battle Creek/St.Phillips) and Carmen Trippett (Albion/Albion) each had 11 kills apiece. Porter had three service aces, 12 digs, one solo block and one block assist. Trippett finished with three solo blocks and four block assists. Freshman Becca Moller (Columbiaville/Lakeville Memorial) helped the winning cause with 54 assists, seven digs, four kills and two block assists. Oakland finished with 65 kills, 51 digs, and 18 team blocks.

The Golden Grizzlies would be on the road for their next three games. Their first match was at Eastern Michigan, Tuesday October 30th. The Golden Grizzlies dropped the three games by the scores of 30-16, 30-16 and 30-25. Oakland as a team recorded a team attack percentage of only .009, its second lowest hitting game this season. OU hit .008 versus Robert Morris earlier this year. Senior Carmen Trippett led Oakland with seven kills and a .227 attack percentage. Freshman Becca Moller recorded 17 assists to lead OU and sophomores Lauren Bramos and Beth Ann Rourk led the way defensively with 15 and 11 digs, respectively.

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Cortney Varterasian

After the loss at Eastern the team headed straight to Chicago State where they lost their eighteenth game of the season. Chicago, IL. - Down two games to none and losing 29-28 in game three, The Lady Cougars volleyball team recovered to upset Oakland University 23-30, 19-30, 31-29, 30-25, 15-10 at the Dickens Center in Chicago, IL. Kills by hitters CSU's Angela Kulm, Lisa Votteler and an attack error by Oakland's Beth Ann Rourk lifted the Cougars to a 31-29 edge in game three. The Cougars fell behind 13-9 in game four before rallying to tie the score at 23 behind the kills of Votteler and the serving of Angela Domrese and Vanessa Nicholson. The Cougars took command of game four after that outscoring the Grizzlies 7-2 to finish the game. Oakland was in command of the match early behind a balanced attack that featured four players with two or more kills in the first two games. Their hitting percentages of .393 and .318 overwhelmed CSU's .206 and .043 percentages. The Grizzlies fell apart in game three hitting -.043 and were bombarded by the Cougars in games four and five when the Cougars hit .394 and .533, respectively.

Oakland hit .235 and .143 in the final two games. Leading the way for the Golden Grizzlies were seniors Cloretta Porter (Battle Creek/St. Phillips HS) and Tess Pierce (Yorkville, Illinois/Yorkville HS) who recorded 15 and 14 kills apiece, respectively. Porter hit .387 for the game. Freshman Becca Moller (Columbiaville/Lakeville Memorial HS) led OU with 43 assists and sophomore Beth Ann Rourk (Woodhaven/Woodhaven HS) led Oakland defensively with 18 digs.

Oakland then made their way to Western Illinois to try to avenge the loss from earlier in the season but came up empty handed. The Golden Grizzlies dropped the three games by the scores of 23-30, 12-30 and 19-30. Oakland hit only .080, while the Westerwinds recorded a .411 attack percentage.

Leading the way for the Golden Grizzlies were sophomore Cortney Varterasian (Ypsilanti/Ypsilanti HS) and senior Cloretta Porter (Battle Creek/St. Phillips HS) with 10 kills apiece. Varterasian hit .217 in the match, while Porter recorded a .471 attack percentage. Freshman Becca Moller (Columbiaville/Lakeville Memorial HS) led the team with 34 assists and Porter led the way defensively with six digs.

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Lauren Bramos

OU played UMKC at home and focused on breaking their four game losing streak, but it was just not possible. Oakland lost in three straight games to UMKC. The Golden Grizzlies were defeated in game one 30-23, but rebounded with a 30-28 victory in the second game. UMKC retaliated and took games three and four 30-25 and 30-17, respectively. Oakland hit only .177 in the match, while the Kangaroos hit .269. UMKC recorded 11 service aces and 11 team blocks, while Oakland had five service aces and six blocks.

Leading the way for the Golden Grizzlies on Parent's Night were seniors Cloretta Porter (Battle Creek/St. Phillips HS) and Carmen Trippett (Albion/Albion HS). Porter recorded 15 kills, while Trippett tallied 12 and a .476 attack percentage. Sophomore Lauren Bramos (Grosse Pointe/North HS) led the way for OU defensively with 12 digs.

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Becca Moller

Oakland’s last chance to gain another conference win was against the Golden Eagles of Oral Roberts, a team that they lost to with a score of 0-3 earlier in the season. But the squad would find themselves in the same situation losing in three straight games just as they did earlier in season play. Oakland went head-to-head with league-leading Golden Eagles the first game but ended up losing to ORU 30-27. The Golden Grizzlies kept themselves in game two but Oral Roberts claimed victory in the end as they took the win 30-24. The Golden Grizzlies came out strong in game three, but the Golden Eagles responded and captured the 30-22 win. Leading Oakland on Senior Night was senior Cloretta Porter (Battle Creek/St.Phillips HS) with 10 kills, nine digs, two block assists and one solo block. Senior Tess Pierce (Yorkville IL/Yorkville HS) was right behind her teammate with nine kills, one solo block and one block assist. Sophomore Beth Ann Rourk (Woodhaven/Woodhaven HS) helped out Oakland defensively with seven digs.   Freshman Becca Moller (Columbiaville/Lakeville Memorial HS) led the Grizzlies in assists with 30 and added six digs on the evening.

Oakland headed into their last game with high spirits and with strong will to end the season on a positive note. The Golden Grizzlies started the match strongly as EMU and OU were neck in neck for the start of the first game. Eastern jumped out in game and claimed the 30-19 victory. EMU controlled game two as well as the Eagles won 30-12. Oakland led for much of the final game, but EMU proved to be too much and claimed the 30-24 victory in the final game. Oakland hit a season-low .000 in the three-game match, while Eastern recorded a .239 attack percentage. OU was led by senior Cloretta Porter (Battle Creek/St. Phillips HS) who recorded eight kills in the OU loss. Senior Carmen Trippett (Albion/Albion HS) followed with seven kills and senior Tess Pierce (Yorkville, Illinois/Yorkville HS) tallied four.

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Kim Cook

Oakland ended the season with a 6-22 record overall and a 2-10 record in the Mid-Continent Conference.  Leading the Golden Grizzlies in attacks for the 2001 season is… Cloretta Porter lead the team in kills, she had 270 kills on the season, averaged 3.03 kills per game.  Tess Pierce who had 231 kills for the season giving her a 2.63 kills per game average and .288 hitting percentage. Carmen Trippett had 162 kills and averaged 1.98 kills per game. Oakland’s top setters for the 2001 season were…Becca Moller with 652 sets and a 8.69 assists per game. Katie Lozier had 169 sets which gave her a 4.17sets per game. And Karen Conger had 53 assists and had a 0.88 assist percentage over the course of the 2001 volleyball season.   OU’s top Defensive players where…Cortney Varterasian with 145 digs and a digs per game average of 1.86 which led the team. Lauren Bramos with 144 digs with a 1.78 digs per game average. And Cloretta Porter had a total of 134 digs which gave her a 1.51 digs per game average.

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