Watertown, WI: The Tigers were seeking their first trip to the regional semi-finals in 15 years playing the Archers of Moody Bible Institute. Moody is ranked #8 in the most recent NCCAA Div. II poll and the Tigers gave them all they could handle. “We knew going into the match we could compete with Moody, we just had to minimize our mistakes. I was very encouraged by the focus and intensity with which we started and finished this match.” Coach Spooner said afterwards.
Indeed the Tigers led several times in all three sets before losing by an identical set score of 17-25 in each of the three. The final score didn’t indicate the closeness of the play between the Tigers and Archers, and with a 15-11 lead in the second set, Coach Spooner truly believed history was within the Tigers reach. “With our three seniors planning practice the night before and the rest of the team focusing on playing as a team, this was truly a most special match. The goal is to win. And we truly competed to win every point. That is all I can ask for as a coach. If we can carry the momentum from last week into the ACCA Nationals this week, I think we can be a very dangerous team that others might overlook.”
The Tigers had a total of 30 kills, led by Naomi Kemper (11); Joee Spooner (8) and Leslie Pumford’s season high of 6. Jessica Ryan had 19 assists while sister Tabitha had 8 digs. The Tigers were consistent at the net with 6 blocks and numerous touches. Leslie also led the team with 2 aces out of a team total of 6.
The Tigers leave this Wednesday for Joplin, MO and the A.C.C.A. National Tournament.