Inconsistent New Richmond volleyball team loses to MBC co-champsNew Richmond volleyball coach Bob Fisher is an eternal optimist.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
New Richmond volleyball coach Bob Fisher is an eternal optimist.
And this season, that’s been one of the few things that’s saved his sanity.
The inconsistent Tigers struggled through one of their most difficult Middle Border Conference matches of the season last Thursday. The Tigers lost their home finale to Baldwin-Woodville in three games. The Senior Night crowd saw the Tigers lose 25-14, 25-10, 25-21.
A discussion later in the week found Fisher quite enthused.
“We came back with our best practice of the season the next day,” Fisher said. “I’m taking that as a positive sign.”
The coaches hope the Tigers can carry some positivity into the WIAA playoffs, which began on Tuesday. The Tigers opened Division 2 tournament play at Hayward. The winner of that match will play again on Thursday, against the winner of Tuesday’s match between Rice Lake and Amery.
The Tigers went into the tournaments as the sixth seed, but they recently played a quality match against Osceola, which drew the top seed in the region.
“With Osceola as the one seed, that tells us the region is wide open,” Fisher said. “If we play consistently, we can play with anyone in the region.”
Consistency, unfortunately, has not been the Tigers’ strong suit. In the Tigers loss to Baldwin-Woodville, there wasn’t one aspect of the game that the Tigers could count on for reliable play. Serving has been solid for the Tigers this season, but they missed four of their first eight serve attempts in the match.
Junior Britney Ellspermann has been the most reliable of the Tiger hitters and she started the match with three kills. She rarely had balls set her way the rest of the match and lost the early hitting rhythm she’d developed. The Tigers could manage just six kills in the first game, four in the second and 10 in the third.
Fisher said every team has excuses, but successful teams work to get beyond them. He said youth can no longer be an excuse for the team, with all the girls having nearly a full varsity season of experience and some more than that.
Baldwin-Woodville had plenty of motivation in this match. With the win, the Blackhawks earned a share of the Middle Border Conference championship, tying with Somerset. New Richmond finished at 1-6 in the conference standings, good for seventh place.