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North Volleyball Stumbles
J. C. Tilton

North played some tough matches last week and responded when they had to. The team may have had an emotional lull this week, they faltered in both of this weeks matches. Hopefully, they will step it back up to finish the season and for the tournament.

First up was Tri-Village. North looked strong in the early going as they took the first set. The Patriots had struggled with poor serves and some bad hits. But in the second set they got their act together, while North seems to do the opposite. The Patriots would win a
close one and from there the wind went out of North's sails as they would fall: 25-20, 22-25, 14-25, and 15-25. Coach Aukerman was disappointed, “We just couldn't put things together as the hitters that we usually rely on struggled. One bright spot for us was Shelly Hobbs, she had a pretty good hitting night, but the rest of the team faltered. I was disappointed with their performance as we had really focused on mental toughness, and we failed to get the job done. I can understand having one player having a off night, or maybe two of them, but not the whole team.” He did compliment Jesse Owens of Tri-Village on her play - saying that she seemed to make save after save for her team.

The team struggled again when they met Covington. The team lead most of the first match only to fall in the end. From there the momentum swung all the way over to the Bucc's and they ran with the last two sets: 25-23, 25-8, 25-14. Coach Aukerman was trying to figure out his team, “We played the worst that I've seen us play all year. In the first game, we challenged them, but failed to take it after leading for most of the game. We handed them the first game and that hurt us the rest of the night. That first game was crucial, because we gave Covington all the confidence to come out in the 2nd and 3rd game and play real aggressive. I think if we would have taken game 1, the outcome might have been different. We have to do a better job of finishing games.”

Coach Aukerman reflected on the week, “I couldn't figure out what happened to the team that had played so well for most of the season. We haven't really changed anything practice wise or line-up wise, so we have no excuse for the way we played. I told them that they need to find something to motivate them for the last week of the season with two tough league matches left. We have to find a way to play more consistent, eliminating our errors. We played without emotion and that really bothers me. It's not always about winning and losing, the main goal is to play well, we have to refocus our commitment to get the job done for next week. “

Stats for North:
Tri-Village: Perry 1 ace, 4 digs, 10 assists, 5 kills; Eisen 7 digs, 9 assists, 3 kills; Estep 1 ace, 9 digs, 3 kills, 2 blocks; Tucker 1 ace, 1 dig, 3 kills; Neal 1 kill, 1 block; Hobbs 7 kills; Schaar 1ace, 15 digs, 3 kills;Creech 3 aces, 1 dig; Whitaker 13 digs.

Covington: Perry 2 aces, 5 digs, 7 assists, 2 kills; Eisen 1 dig, 4 assists, 1 kill; Estep 6 digs, 2 kills, 2 blocks; Tucker 1 ace, 1 dig; Neal 3 kills, 1 block; Hobbs 1 dig, 1 kill; Schaar 1 dig, 1 kill; Creech 3 aces; Whitaker 10 digs.


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