Joplin, MO: The Tigers bid for the first trip to a national semi-finals in 18 years fell just a few points short against 4th seed Calvary Bible College. The Tigers led in all three sets and never gave up runs more than 3 points. “We were right there the whole time and had our chances but Calvary simply played better with superior coaching and beat us. I was very proud of how we started each set and consistent play from our defense. Tabitha Ryan, one of our three seniors was outstanding in serve receive, serving 100% and played solid in the back row. Joee Spooner, despite a season long nagging foot injury, had 9 kills hitting 32%.” Coach Spooner said.
Naomi Kemper and Nichole Galbicsek both had 6 kills while Naomi had 2 of the teams 5 aces and led the team with 9 digs. Aubree Domsic and Leslie Pumford each with 2 kills helped give the Tigers good offensive balance with Jessica Ryan setting for 19 assists. Freshman Anna Veldink really stepped up her work at Libero getting 5 digs and consistent passing.
“This has been a year of much adversity and changes for us all through out the season. What I am most proud of and appreciate is the teams mentality to work hard at dealing with those issues and applying life long lessons together. I’m especially pleased with our three seniors and their contribution to changing the culture of Tiger volleyball.” An emotional post match Coach Spooner said while getting a big hug from his senior daughter Joee. “I told Joee she can now call me just dad. This is hard knowing she’s done but her work ethic and leadership to increase the level of respect for Tiger volleyball is deeply appreciated and will be missed greatly.”
Monday night, the 7th of November during the half-time of the mens’ basketball game all three seniors will be given special honors and awards.
A special thanks to all the Tigers family and fans this year. If you know of any high school athlete interested in joining this emerging tradition contact Coach Spooner.