Passing problems weigh down New Richmond volleyball teamConsistency continues to elude the New Richmond volleyball team, and with it, so do wins in Middle Border Conference matches.
Consistency continues to elude the New Richmond volleyball team, and with it, so do wins in Middle Border Conference matches.
The Tigers slipped to 0-3 in MBC action last week with losses to Somerset and Ellsworth.
New Richmond coach Bob Fisher spoke with frustration about the Tigers’ struggles. He said the issues begin with passing, but the team’s play needs to be sharper in all areas.
In last Tuesday’s match against Somerset, the Tigers were ice cold at the start, falling behind 10-2 in the opening game. They couldn’t pull out of the slide, losing 25-12.
The Orange and Black had another rough start in the second game, trailing 8-2 at the start. Then the Tigers began to regroup. The Tigers were able to tie the score at 14-14. Somerset retook a small lead and held it for a 25-21 win.
The third game had a completely unexpected result, especially after the Tigers fell behind 8-2. Trailing 14-11, Tiger senior Tiffany Olek gave the team its best serving string of the night. Olek put the ball in play for 11 straight points and the Tigers were suddenly in front 22-14. The Tigers were able to finish the win, 25-19.
This was the first time all night that the Tigers had been able to put together a strong run of front line play. Emily Kukacka and Bekah Heitzler were the leaders, scoring with hits and with blocks. Caelin Giese and new varsity addition Ali Hammer also were able to make some things happen in the front row in this game.
During the fourth game the Tigers were able to keep things close, but a couple missed serves late in the game helped Somerset pull away for the 25-19 win.
Fisher said passing and serving problems were the main issues Tuesday. The Tigers missed eight serves in the opening game.
At Ellsworth on Thursday the Tigers dropped a 25-18, 25-17, 25-17 decision. The Tigers stayed right with Ellsworth in the first half of all three games, but Ellsworth was able to play stronger in the final points.
Kukacka led the Tiger hitting attack at Ellsworth. Fisher said leftside hitters Alecia Brugler and Britney Ellspermann were effective hitting early in the night, but Ellsworth made adjustments to take away their hitting lanes.
Fisher said the issues at Ellsworth were mainly with the passing and blocking. Fisher remains steadfast that the Tigers are capable of playing much better.
“It’s frustrating, we’ve got the passers,” Fisher said. “If we get our confidence up and get a rhythm, we can play with any team in the conference.”
New Richmond Invitational
The Tigers will host the second annual New Richmond Invitational this Saturday, with nine varsity and nine junior varsity teams taking part. The varsity tournament will be played at the NRHS gym and the JV tournament will be at Hillside Elementary and the New Richmond Middle School.
The varsity tournament will be played with three pools of three teams each. New Richmond will be in a pool with Barron and Altoona. Somerset joins Clayton and Northwestern in another pool. Baldwin-Woodville, Grantsburg and Chippewa Falls make up the third pool.
Play is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
The Tigers will also be in action next Tuesday, playing at Baldwin-Woodville in an MBC match.