WYOMING, MI: -Tiger volleyball was dealt a major blow when Outside Hitter Nichole Galbicsek went down with a knee injury in the first set against Mt. Mary on Homecoming Saturday. “Nichole has been playing the best volleyball of her career over the last month. She’s 2nd in attack % with the 3rd highest kill total on the team and 3rd in the region with ace serves as our lead-off server. I feel so bad for her and yet told the team our faith tells us to look for the lesson in drawing her and all of us closer to God.” A despondent Coach Spooner said after the match. “She’ll go in Monday for evaluation to see how serious it really is. Obviously we’re hopeful for a positive result.”
In the rematch against Mt. Mary the Tigers never seemed to get things going. Playing very tentatively the Tigers fell in 3 sets. “I understand how losing Nichole is a great loss but at the same time we didn’t lose anyone else in 5 other positions. It’s at times of adversity that you need to find a mental maturity to step up and fill the gap. We didn’t do that as well as I hoped for. As a coach I became frustrated and I’m sure that didn’t help either.” Coach Spooner said. Coach Spooner also noted, “Mt. Mary is well coached and having their best year in school history. This is a good NCAA III team that has a bright future and we look forward to playing again next week in Northland.”
After a break the Tigers came back to face Dayspring Bible College for the 3rd time this year. “We lost to them in the second match of the season then beat them at their place in 5 sets. They are the most unorthodox volleyball team we ever play with a great middle hitter and tough stingy defense.” Coach Spooner said before the match.
Indeed the Tigers did regroup after the injury to Nichole and made some rotation adjustments. In the first set the Tigers led but Dayspring came back to take it 25-21. The Tigers played better with a higher energy level in the 2nd but a net error at game point gave the set to Dayspring 25-23. “We have got to find a way to eliminate so many errors. Today we just didn’t have our usual focus, missing money ball serves, net and attack errors that have been uncharacteristic of our play lately. We hit only 11% and that simply isn’t our philosophy of putting the ball in play.” Coach Spooner noted. “I have got to do a better job of finding ways to improve our mental toughness and focus in several key areas. We are a vastly improved team with talent we just need to become a better TEAM.”
The 3rd set was much the same as the Tigers struggled in finding ways to defend the offensive attack of Dayspring’s middle hitter losing 21-25. “Dayspring came to play and beat us. They are well coached and get after every ball with intent to put it back in play. We need to find that same intensity on our side of the net as well. And the one thing I know about this team, regardless of the outcome with Nichole, is that we will find it even this year.”
Tuesday, the Tigers play their last home match against mid-state rival Great Lakes Christian.