By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola volleyball trudged through a long week and a tough Saturday where they played five matches in all, three of which went to three sets, and ended the week with seven matches in five days. Saturday’s slate was not only tiring it was great competition for coach Lydia Miller’s squad as they took on a very good Mt Zion team, Newton, and Fairfield in pool play of the Casey Westfield Invite.
The Warriors entered the tourney with a 3-1 record overall–dropping just two games while winning seven–and left Casey with 4-5 mark falling in four of their five matches. Three of the four losses were decided in the third set and by four points or less.
Karli Dean led the way at the net on the day adding 30 kills and 27 blocks to her season resume. Younger sister Katie was next in line up front, ending the day with 20 kills and 18 blocks. Feeding them at the net was junior Maddie Green, who posted 74 assists in the five match swing, while Natalie Bates was big in the back row for coach Miller diving her way to 57 saves. She also was strong at the service line all day ending the tourney with a team best 10 aces.
The Warriors opened the day with a hard-fought loss to a strong Newton team. Tuscola won the first game behind a big front row effort from the Dean sisters who combined for 13 blocks and 11 kills in the match. Lexie Russo was also strong at the net offensively, while Kyra Moyer and Bates patrolled the back row finding their way to a 22 digs in all. Game two went to Newton, and then the Lady Eagles sealed the deal on the match with a late surge to win game three 12-15. Sydney Watson turned in some quality time on the floor as did Marissa Russo and Kendyl Ring.
Match two took the same path as once more the Warriors captured game one against Fairfield, this time in dominating fashion 25-13, only to watch game two and three slip away. McKinlee Miller had a big time stat line in the match delivering two kills, a match high four aces, and eight digs. Green was well rounded also posting three digs, two kills and a team high 17 assists. Jesse Martin shared in delivering balls to the front row notching a personal best five assists.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Sept. 5 edition of The Tuscola Journal.