JOHANNESBURG — Perhaps the region’s most dominant team has finally gotten its first Gaylord Herald Times Player of the Week of the new school year.
Johannesburg-Lewiston volleyball has been a powerhouse for some time now, entering the 2022 season with back-to-back Ski Valley Conference championships and some of the best talent in the state. Their 2022 season story has been one of dominance, with the Cardinals racking up 36 wins in 41 games, a 6-1 record in a tough Ski Valley conference and winning three separate tournament championships at this point in the season. .
They picked up that third tournament victory last weekend, traveling to Indian River for a 12-team tournament hosted by conference foe Inland Lakes, and it was the effort of elder Jocelyn Tobias that earned the Cardinals their first GHT Player of the Week honor.
Tobias is in the middle of a breakout season, taking on a bigger role in the Cardinals system to give head coach Kristine Peppin another dominant player to work with. Joining the already dominant duo of Jayden Marlatt and Grace Baragrey, Tobias’ emergence gives the Cardinals three of the best players in the Ski Valley Conference, if not all of Northern Michigan.
She led the team’s offense last weekend en route to the tournament crown, finishing atop the stats sheet with 48 kills while adding 29 digs and 27 service receptions.
His presence made JL a dangerous team heading into the playoffs, and the tournament was a good example of how their talent may be able to carry them into a post-season format. The Cardinals went 5-1 on aggregate in six games, falling only to Rudyard on points in a straight-set game while avenging their only conference loss with a dominating win over Inland Lakes in the Finals.
If Tobias can continue to play at this level, the Cardinals should be in great shape heading into the playoffs.