The Lady Tiger volleyball team faced off with the Mott-Regent Wildfire during a regional matchup on Thursday, Oct. 27.
By RACHEL BOCK
The Lady Tiger volleyball team faced off with the Mott-Regent Wildfire during a regional matchup on Thursday, Oct. 27. The Tigers beat the Wildfire in three games, but despite the scores, New England head coach Taylor Hafner gives credit to the Widlfire for their defensive game that they played that night.
“They [Wildfire] did a great job with their middle hitter setting up their middle hitter against our best hitters to block, and that really frustrated some of our girls. But at the same time it was really nice because I had some girls that stepped up and put the ball away that don’t always get the opportunity right away. So it was really fun to move the ball around quite a bit and see what everybody else can do,” Hafner said.
A major key to the Tigers success against the Wildfire was their serving game, something that has been a strong characteristic for the Tigers offense this season. However their serving game was something the Tigers struggled with during the previous game that week, Hafner was glad to see her girls were back on their serving game. Against Mott-Regent, New England had only one serve receive error, which opened up their whole offensive game that night.
“Elizabeth did great seeing the floor, she served at 100 percent for us. She picked everything up, she was really effective in the back row, and that opened up our entire offense. Which frustrated the other team,” Hafner said.
The Thursday night match up was an extra special night for the Lady Tigers, as it was parent’s night, along with the hosting their first ‘Dig Pink Night.’ This season the Tigers only have one senior on their roster right side setter Adrienne Roller. Roller who is starting varsity for the first time this year, had to patiently wait for her turn on the starting line-up. Despite her having to wait for her turn to start, Roller never gave up and worked even harder to get herself ready for her starting role.
“I think that just making me wait to start varsity, just made me want it more, so I worked harder and I tried to work for it more in that way. Volleyball has always been fun for me, it just made me work harder to reach and get up to that level to start varsity,” Roller said.
Over the years, Roller has played different positions which has helped her understand the game and become a well-rounded player. Roller who is known for her serving ability currently has a serving average of 92 percent, something that she strives for during each game as she sets goals for herself and tries to meet them.
When the time comes for the season to end for the senior, Roller is simply going to miss not only the game of volleyball but also her teammates and being part of a team. For her head coach who has coached her for the past five years, Hafner is simply going to miss the lone senior, especially on her starting roster next year.
“When she was an eighth grader I pulled her up to play with us on the JV right away because she really impressed me as an eighth grader. I have had her for five years now, she has been really aggressive, moving the ball around and she has improved so much. She has come along away and I am really going to miss her,” Hafner said.
New England swept the Wildfire 3-0
Match Scores: Game 1 New England 25, Mott-Regent 17
Game 2 New England 25, Mott-Regent 17
Game 3 New England 25, Mott-Regent 19
Match Statistics for New England:
Kills: Hailee Kuske 12, Paige Ehlis 11, Elizabeth Kaufman 8, Hadley Binstock 2
Blocks: Hailee Kuske 3, Paige Ehlis 2
Aces: Tori Jalbert 5, Hailee Kuske 2, Paige Ehlis 2, and Elizabeth Kaufman 2
Digs: Tori Jalbert 16, Elizabeth Kaufman 12, Hailee Kuske 10, Paige Ehlis 8
Assists: Tori Jalbert 10, Paige Ehlis 9, and Adrienne Roller 9
Match Statistics for Mott-Regent
Kills: Maddi Johnson 7, Ellie Messmer 5, Malynn Kautzman 4, Andrea Klein 3
Blocks: Ellie Messmer 1, Maddi Johnson 1
Aces: Ellie Messmer 3, Bree Friedt 1, Andrea Klein 1
Digs: Malynn Kautzman 5, Jenaya Manolovits 3
Assists: Salonna Kienzle 14, Bree Friedt 3