North Volleyball - Young Team Evens Record
J. C. Tilton
The North Volleyball team is young, but learning. Coach Chad Aukerman knew that his team would have their hands full going into the Thursday match with the experienced South team. “Having most of their starters back from last year, we knew that we had our work cut out for us. I told my team that our goal was to take one game from them, and hopefully that would be enough for them to lose some confidence allowing us to win the match.” The team tried to respond in the very first set - racing to an early lead, but unable to finish. “…but once we reached 19, South came roaring by us to the finish line. We didn't have a let down, South just stepped up their play.”
In the final match, North again tried to overtake the Panthers. “We thought we had a chance to steal game 3, but South stepped up at the right times and put us away. I told my team after the game that they played really well for how young of a team they are. I couldn't ask for a better performance from them at this stage of the season.”
Many of the North and South players know each other from Junior Olympic volleyball and just from playing against each other so much. Coach Aukerman had compliments for the South players, “Dany Lipps, Katie McCoy, and Katie McCullum hurt us the most from South… and Debbie Brubaker did a nice job of setting the ball for their hitters.” He had praise for the Panthers for North, “Crystal Whitaker stood out the most, she had a great passing / defensive night. Amy Schaar and Amy Estep also played well defensively. Without their passing, we would have been in big trouble.”
TCN stats: Perry 1 ace, 3 digs, 7 assists, 5 kills; Eisen 3 digs, 6 assists, 2 kills; Estep 1 ace, 7 digs, 1 kills, 1 block; Neal had 3 kills; Hobbs had 8 digs, 2 kills; Schaar had 1 ace, 4 digs, 1 assist, 4 kills; Booth had 2 digs, 2 kills; Creech had 1 ace; Whitaker had 31 digs
The TriCounty North team next traveled to Preble Shawnee for a three way game against the host team and Carlisle. Strong servers and great sets were the features of this game, with out really strong hitters, North must win with guile rather than force. Coach Auckerman stated, “[I] thought we did a nice job of spreading out our sets this game from our setters ( Lauren Perry and Amber Eisen).We kept them off balanced as they had a lot of passing and hitting errors. I thought Amy Estep had a nice weekend for us, in fact she has played really well for the last week and a half”. North won in two sets, 25-7 and 25-13.
Next North faced Carlisle, they opened weakly but finished strong. Coach Aukerman said that, “It was so close right up until the end for both games, I just think we made less errors down the stretch than they did. They had some breakdowns and we capitalized on their mistakes. Lauren Perry had a nice hitting performance with 8 kills and Amber Eisen set the ball well recording 12 assists”. North would face up to the challenge winning, 25-21 and 25-19. The team is now 4-4 and is looking to get stronger and more consistant.
Stats vs Preble Shawnee: Perry 2 aces, 4 digs, 6 assists, and 4 kills; Eisen had 3 aces, 3 digs, 5 assists; Estep had 2 aces, 12 digs, 3 kills, and 2 blocks; Hobbs had 5 digs and 1 block; Schaar had 1 ace, 11 digs, 4 kills; Creech had 2 aces; Whitaker had 8 digs.
Stats vs Carlisle: Perry with 3 aces, 3 digs, 2 assists, 8 kills; Eisen had 4 digs, 12 assists, 1 kill; Estep had 1 ace, 11 digs, 5 kills, and 3 blocks; Neal had 2 kills; Hobbs had 2 aces, 2 digs, 1 kill; Schaar had 1 ace, 9 digs, 1 kill; Creech had 3 aces and 2 digs; Whitaker had 12 digs.