Tigers beaten by better team

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Sometimes, you just run up against a better team.

That's why you won't see any of the New Richmond volleyball coaches and players shedding a tear about the Tigers' loss in the opening round of the WIAA Division 1 regional tournament last Thursday.

The Tigers were the 11th seed in the Division 1 tournament bracket while D.C. Everest was seeded sixth. New Richmond coach Al Getschel said the Division 1 bracket was deep and talented, saying the teams seeded third through eighth could have landed in any order. That was substantiated two nights later, when D.C. Everest went to Eau Claire Memorial and upset the third-seeded Old Abes in three sets. D.C. Everest will play in the sectional semifinals this Thursday, hosting second-seeded Eau Claire North.

The Tigers lost to D.C. Everest by scores of 25-16, 25-11 and 25-7. They were competitive with the Evergreens in the first set, but were quickly worn down by D.C. Everest's combined hitting and blocking attack. The Tigers managed just 12 kills in the match, with Mandy Dolezal leading the team with four. The Tiger defense was picked apart by the Evergreens' strong serving, where they held a 17-3 edge over the Tigers in ace serves.

Dolezal also led the Tigers' defense on Thursday, finishing with nine digs. Amelia Feuerer came up with eight digs and Kayla Dolezal dug up five balls.

While the Tigers might have shed a tear over the finality of their season ending, this season was part of a rebuilding process. Getschel is already talking about next season, especially the plan to install a 6-2 attack to get more height into the lineup for blocking.

There were just two seniors on the Tiger roster this season and they were counted upon to provide a great deal of guidance for the young team. Avery Patraw and Sami Paulson were favorites of the coaches for their selfless work as the team's seniors.