Coach excited for next year after early end to season

The New England Tiger Volleyball Team ended their season earlier than they had hoped.

Hailee Kuske (L) and Paige Ehlis (R) pose with their All-Region team plaques. (Courtesy Photo)
Hailee Kuske (L) and Paige Ehlis (R) pose with their All-Region team plaques. (Courtesy Photo)

By RACHEL BOCK
Herald Reporter

The New England Tiger Volleyball Team ended their season earlier than they had hoped. On Nov. 7 as they fell to Hazen with a score of 0-3. Hazen eventually became the Region 7 Champions later that week, and even though the outcome wasn’t what head coach Taylor Hafner wanted, she is already looking forward to next season and is hoping to build on the achievements they did have this season.

The Tigers finished their season with a record of 21 wins, 13 losses and 2 ties. They also were the only team in Region 7 to have beaten every team in the region during either tournament or regular season play. The Tigers also had two junior players, Hailee Kuske and Paige Ehlis, make the All-Region tournament team, along with Elizabeth Kaufman, who led the region in digs.

Hafner is really impressed with the way her team responded to her new offensive and defensive schemes that she implemented this season. With all of these accomplishments, she is hoping those things will be the building blocks to her next year season, along with the fact that she will be returning five out of her six players in her starting lineup and has some young talent that is working hard to step up to the next level.

Junior Hailee Kuske, who was named to the All-Region team her sophomore and junior seasons, was the Tigers biggest defensive threat this season, as she ended the season with 122 blocks. Kuske finished second in the state in blocks, and she also led the Tigers in kills this season.

Paige Ehlis, who led the Tigers in assists with 340, was also named on the All-Region team. The offensive and defensive duo are best friends on and off the court and together they have a friendly competition with each other that makes the two better volleyball players.

“That is one of my favorite parts of those two. I know they are best friends on and off the court, they push each other constantly. They work together a lot, and help each other out by letting each other know what is open or what they should be doing. Those two are definitely deserving of the award. They worked hard, went to acceleration, they were at every open gym. They are just girls that will work hard to better themselves so they can better their team. They are going to push each other, and push their teammates to be the best they can. They have put in the time, and they put in the effort. They worked to be in the top of our region,” Hafner said.

Season Statistics:

Paige Ehlis 40 aces, 256 kills, 340 assists, 37 blocks, 317 digs

Hailee Kuske 59 aces, 363 kills, 5 assists, 122 blocks, 356 digs

Tori Jalbert 37 aces, 21 kills, 132 assists, 407 digs

Adrienne Roller 36 aces, 49 kills, 314 assists, 148 digs

Hadley Binstock 31 aces, 64 kills, 41 assists, 23 blocks, 331 digs

Elizabeth Kaufman 26 aces, 231 kills, 4 assists, 6 blocks, 494 digs

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