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Volleyball: Tigers beat Amery on Senior Night

Gracie Getschel (20) gets set to deliver a serve during the Tigers' win over Amery last week. Dave Newman / RiverTown Multimedia

Once the New Richmond volleyball team got its game under control, it was able to control last week's Middle Border Conference match against Amery.

Amery won the opening set 27-25 after the Tigers had a lead slip away. In the middle of the second set the Tigers began to gain their composure on an emotional Senior Night. From there the Tigers rolled to a victory with wins of 25-22, 25-16 and 27-25.

This could be the last time seniors Avery Patraw and Sami Paulson would play in front of a home crowd and the Tigers were anxious to send their seniors out on a win. Tiger coach Al Getschel said the girls may have been a bit overanxious.

"You've got to try to stay true to your style and form," Getschel said. "Midway through Game 2, we settled back, more into a tempo."

Amery has one standout hitter in Madelyn Granica. The Tigers lined up junior Lauren Smith against her and they essentially balanced each other out. That was fine with Getschel.

"I'll match up Lauren against Granica and I'll let the rest of my team match up with their rest of theirs," Getschel said.

Getschel said that led to more opportunities for other girls. A big part of that is getting the sets to the other players. Getschel said Tiger setter Mykenzie Patten got the sets to outside hitters Mandy Dolezal and Paulson.

"In games 3 and 4, Mykenzie played exceptional. She settled in much better at that point," Getschel said.

Paulson and Dolezal both finished the night with nine kills, most of them coming in the final two sets. Smith led the Tigers with 12 kills and two blocks.

The Tigers entered the season as one of the youngest teams in the area. Getschel said he's quite pleased with how the team has grown through the season.

"The volleyball IQ had increased substantially, they're really showing more knowledge of the game," he said. "There's a lot of maturity happening with the girls right now."

The Tigers were scheduled to complete their regular season on Tuesday at Osceola. The Tigers will play next in the Division 1 regional tournaments. Seeding is scheduled to be completed this week. Getschel said it was unlikely the Tigers would draw a home tournament match. There are 16 teams in the bracket and he thought the Tigers would land somewhere around 11th in the seeding. Regional play is scheduled to begin on Thursday, Oct. 19.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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