Lansing- Playing Northland International University for the 6th time this year, Coach Spooner hoped the young Tigers would find a way to get a win in the first round of the NCCAA Mid-West Regional. “We felt really good about practices this week and some changes we’ve made recently. We need to find a mental confidence that comes from not making mistakes that hurt us.”
In the first set, though playing much better than the last time against Northland, the Tigers fell 10-25. “Our ball control was very good and we got the sets we wanted but attack errors and Northland’s stingy defense was too much.” Coach Spooner said.
In the second set, the Tigers started out much stronger and were leading when Northland’s senior setter and outside hitter dislocated her shoulder. “That was devastating to see especially for a senior, but we allowed that emotion to carry over into our mental focus.” Coach said. Leading 21-18 the Tigers gave up 3 in a row to Northland and then lost 25-23 on several unforced errors. “Northland is well-disciplined and coached. They stepped up in play for their fallen teammate and we didn’t match that intensity.”
Then in the third set the Tigers lost 25-13. “I knew that second set was critical for our mindset. We started the day with a great attitude and energy. But we just couldn’t overcome mistakes and Northland is simply a better team. The important thing for us in knowing how young we are is not get discouraged but learn and build on this for the ACCA National tournament next week.” Coach Spooner said after the match.
The Tigers travel next week to the ACCA National Tournament in Kansas City, MO. They open play Thursday night- 8:00pm against West Coast Baptist College from California.