New Richmond volleyball team loses first conference match in five gamesStarting the Middle Border Conference on a strong note was the goal of the New Richmond volleyball team, but the Tigers fell just short in their MBC opener at Durand last Thursday.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
Starting the Middle Border Conference on a strong note was the goal of the New Richmond volleyball team, but the Tigers fell just short in their MBC opener at Durand last Thursday.
New Richmond and Durand went to five games, but it was Durand that won the finale. The teams flip-flopped wins throughout the night. Durand won the first, third and fifth games by scores of 25-21, 25-18 and 15-11. The Tigers captured the second and fourth games, with 25-21 wins in both games.
The Tigers finished the match with 31 kills. Caelin Giese, Brooke Ver Bunker and Anna McShane led the team. Tiger coach Bob Fisher said he was pleased that the Tigers’ kill totals increased through each of the four full games, including 11 in Game 4.
He was even more encouraged with the Tigers’ block totals. They recorded 17 in the match, led by 10 from middle hitter Emily Kukacka.
“That’s pretty good for a sophomore who’s never played above C level before,” Fisher said.
On Saturday the Tigers took third place in the annual tournament they compete in at Grantsburg. While Fisher was upbeat about the performance at Durand, he found few positives in Saturday’s showing.
“We didn’t play well, not at all,” Fisher said. “Where we found a rhythm at Durand, we never found it at Grantsburg.”
Grantsburg and Braham, Minn., went 4-0 in the opening rounds of the tournament, while the Tigers and the other three teams each went 1-3. The Tigers then played for third place, beating Frederic 21-25, 25-17, 15-6. The Tigers’ first win came against Webster.
Fisher said New Richmond’s strong serving carried them through their two wins against Frederic, after they had dropped the opening game.
Fisher is trying to patiently bring along the young Tiger team, but is waiting for them to understand the ability they possess.
“What they’re not missing is talent,” Fisher said. “The three things they are missing are experience, discipline and belief. They have to believe they’re good and they don’t quite believe it yet.”
In the tightly bunched conference, the Tigers face two more challenging matches in the upcoming days. On Thursday they will travel to Somerset, which always seems to be a passionate match for both teams. The Tigers return to their home court next Tuesday, when they face Ellsworth.