Chicago, IL: That’s what Coach John Spooner told the team after a tough 4 set loss to Northland International University. “I honestly believe after seeing some great play this weekend if we keep believing and work hard, things are going to change and in a big way.”
The Tigers started strong with great defense and running a quicker offense confusing the Northland blockers but once again loss of concentration at critical moments swung momentum the Pioneers way for a first set victory 25-21. “We played some of our most aggressive scrappy volleyball of the season but only at times. Coach Dave Herron is one of the best at making in-game changes and they exploited some of our weaknesses. When we learn to put it all together for a consistent match we are most dangerous.” Coach Spooner said afterwards.
With having the lead in the third set and Northland making a run the Tigers closed it out by solid serving and net play; 25-23. “We are an aggressive serving team but we have to learn when to be smart with that aggressiveness and push points with defense and offensive execution. Northland is too well coached to allow easy points.” Coach Spooner.
The forth set found the Tigers down early but fighting back only to lose 25-18. “Overall this weekend I think we found out a great deal more of our character and adjusting to the many adverse changes we’ve had to make this year. I know its hard on the team especially the seniors but with hard work it will pay off in the end.” Coach Spooner said later.
Naomi Kemper had an outstanding offensive day with 16 kills and only 3 attack errors. She was also team leader with 36 serve receive opportunities and 14 digs. Joee Spooner had 9 kills and 4 blocks with 8 digs playing back row for the first time this year. Aubree Domsic now hitting outside had 5 kills and 7 digs. Tabitha Ryan had 3 aces while sister Jessica had 29 assists, 3 kills and 5 digs. Leslie Pumford had 4 kills, 2 blocks. Off the bench was solid play by April Lorenz and Anna Veldink. “These are the young players who don’t get much playing time yet but for them to come in and serve right away or primary receive and do well is critical to team success.” Coach Spooner noted about the freshman bench.
The Tigers travel to Lansing on Tuesday taking on Great Lakes Christian College.