The tremendous start that the Wittenberg Volleyball team had coming into this past weekend’s Great Lakes Regional Challenge showed that the Tigers are a force to be reckoned with in 2011. Head Coach Paco Labrador and his team recorded a successful weekend overall, with big wins against Hope and Bluffton, but falling short top-ranked Calvin 2-3.
The Tigers’ first match held on Friday night against 13th ranked Hope was won quite easily by Wittenberg who got the victory in just three sets. Senior Kimmie Dyer and Junior Jessica Batanian led the team with 10 kills each. Defensively, junior Christina Gilene helped keep the Tigers lead with 16 digs.
The next match for Wittenberg did not go as well as the first with a 3-2 loss against 1st ranked Calvin. Both teams came into the weekend undefeated but in the last set, the Knights were just too much for the Tigers, winning 17-15. The Wittenberg offense was much more spread out in this match, with six Tigers tallying up 10 kills or more. Gilene was the defensive leader for the tigers with 36 digs, Dyer also doing her part with 21.
“It helped us realize what we need to work on as a team,” said Dyer on the loss to Calvin, “and we got to work on our mistakes against Bluffton.”
In their final game of the weekend, the Tigers took on unranked Bluffton. Wittenberg was unstoppable in this match, sweeping the Beavers 3-0. Kills for the Tigers were spread out among the roster, Botanian having the most with eight.
The upcoming game for the Wittenberg Volleyball team will be held on Sept. 24 when they take on conference opponents Ohio Wesleyan at 6 p.m. and Hiram at 8 p.m. Both matches will be held in Gambier, Ohio.
(Ben Groff / firstname.lastname@example.org)