The Tigers travelled to Philadelphia for a series of matches over this past weekend. Mixed in with playing was a historical tour of the City of Brotherly Love led by Coach Keizer on Friday and Coach Spooner insisting they eat at Pat King’s noted for the Food Channels Best Cheesesteak Sandwich in America. “We had a great time withthe team both in terms of play and seeing some American history. And the cheesesteaksandwich was worth the whole trip.”
Oh yeh, the Tigers went 2 for three in matches. Losing to Lancaster Bible College Thursday night the Tigers found themselves in familiar territory simply not able to overcome big runs by opponents. “We have a focus to not allow runs of three or more in matches. Although we did travel over 6 hours before the match we should’ve been more focused on not giving up big leads.” Coach Spooner said afterwards. “Not having Amanda Wall, who stayed home for a family wedding, hurt us in rotation but Stephanie Miller, Erin Befus and Chrissie Benjamin stepped up and played well in her abscence.”
On Saturday the Tigers found their game in dominating both Valley Forge Christian and Bryn Athyn at Valley Forge. “We controlled every aspect of the game against opponents who have struggled this year. It’s critical in volleyball to be focused on what we control. Good passes, run plays and execute both defensively as well as focus on finishing strong.” Coach Spooner pointed out after the match. “I felt we maintained an excellent level of intensity and control on our side of the net.”
It was especially gratifying to have Crissy Benjamin finally playing through an injury that has plagued her all year. “Both Chrissy and Erin Befus had a great day. They don’t get to play much but showed outstanding focus playing their best of the season.” Coach Spooner. Chrissy had 16 serves withno errors and 3 aces against Valley Forge. Erin had 8 digs for both matches and played excellent defense in the back row. The Tigers hit almost 40% against Bryn Athyn led by Naomi Kemper and Joee Spooner with9 kills each. In both matches the Tigers served over 93% with 22 aces.
Tigers have now won 6 of their last 9 matches. They enter this weekends regional tournament seeded 5th and playing Northland International University Friday at 1:00. “We are very excited about this weekend. This has been a very emotional year in many ways with youthful mistakes being a struggle. But I think we have truly made some team commitments recently and are at a point of playing some of our best volleyball at the right time of year.” Coach Spooner noted though that health may be the unknown obstacle. “Right now I have six players down with the flu. We cancelled practice Monday hoping they can get better. It is what it is and we’ll be ready to do our best on Friday.”
Tuesday afternoon the Tigers will have an informal scrimmage with some former alumni.