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New Richmond junior Leah Blader delivers a set during the River Falls tournament last week. (Photo by Bob Burrows)

New Richmond volleyball stocks up on tournament experience

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New Richmond volleyball stocks up on tournament experience
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Getting tough competition is the goal of the preseason for the New Richmond volleyball team and the Tigers are getting it by taking part in several large tournaments.


On Saturday the Tigers were one of eight teams in a tournament at West Salem. The Tigers have continued to go to this tournament because of the strength of the competition. Teams like Mukwonago and Eau Claire North head the field. Both were Division sectional qualifiers last year.

New Richmond finished with a 5-9 record in the tournament, taking sixth place. The Tigers beat Holmen twice and split matches with Platteville, Melrose-Mindoro and Cochrane-Fountain City. They were defeated twice by Eau Claire North, Mukwonago and West Salem.

Coach Missi Whittington, in her first season leading the Tigers, said the tournament was beneficial for the team.

"We played over and above any expectations I had," Whittington said. "The offense seems to be coming along."

Whittington said there were signs that it was still early in the season. She said the team needs to work on the timing between the passers and setters so they can develop the attack to its fullest.

With a week between tournaments, the Tigers will spend this week's practices installing more of their offense as they build toward the Middle Border Conference season.

River Falls tournament

The Tigers were able to win two of their three matches in the season-opening tournament at River Falls last Tuesday.

In their first match under Whittington, the Tigers lost the opening game to Spring Valley before surging back to win the next two games. The Tigers then put on an emotional charge, sweeping three games from Somerset.

That win sapped the Tigers' strength and they were swept in the final round of the tournament by River Falls.

Whittington said she is starting the season with a "vanilla" offense, getting the Tigers accustomed to playing next to each other first. She said she will be adding complexities into the attack quickly.

"We want to have three different plays by (the start of Middle Border Conference play) that we can throw at them," she said.

Whittington said she was impressed with how the Tigers came back against Spring Valley and how they continued to improve and gain momentum through the two wins.

Up next

The Tigers' challenging tournament schedule continues this Saturday when they play at Coon Rapids, Minn. The Tigers will host a quad meet of Middle Border Conference teams next Tuesday, with Ellsworth, Prescott and Durand participating. The quad meet begins at 5 p.m.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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