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Injuries zap continuity of New Richmond volleyball team

Sophomore Sarena Shilts is shown delivering a pass to the setter during a recent Tiger match.

Just when the New Richmond volleyball team was beginning to develop some continuity, concussions suffered by two starters threw the Tigers out of synch for their match against Baldwin-Woodville last Tuesday.

The Tigers beat B-W in a two-game match the previous Saturday during the New Richmond Invitational. The Tigers couldn't find the same success level when the two teams met in a Middle Border Conference match, getting swept in three games.

The match was played without middle hitter Caelin Giese and leftside hitter Alecia Brugler. Tiger coach Bob Fisher said the team adjusted the best it could, but taking two key components out of the lineup was just enough of a change to throw the Tigers off their game. The Tigers were competitive in all three losses, losing by scores of 25-18, 25-20 and 25-22.

The game that was the Tigers' finest effort of the night was the final one. They trailed 13-3 early in the game. Instead of packing it in, the Tigers played their sharpest. They battled back to tie the score at 22-22 before the Blackhawks were able to score the final three points of the night.

"That shows we have spunk. That shows we have character," Fisher said of the comeback.

There were highlights for the Tigers during the match. Ali Hammer stepped in at middle hitter and Cassie Martie at the left side and they both did good things. Martie and Tiffany Olek both gave the Tigers some nice serving runs. Fisher said that sophomore Kate Johnson handled her setting responsibilities well.

The Tigers complete their regular season this Thursday with a home match against Osceola. This will also be the Tigers' Senior Night.

The WIAA Division 2 regional tournament brackets are also expected to be announced this Thursday. The Tigers are in a seven-team bracket along with Altoona, Baldwin-Woodville, Ellsworth, Osceola, St. Croix Central and Somerset. The first round of regional matches will be played next Tuesday.