By Lenny Sementi
Head coach Lydia Miller’s volleyball team is gaining speed as the post-season draws near. They leaned on a pair of youngsters this past week as they upended a good Paris team in three games 13-25, 25-21, and 26-16 to open the week and then ran past Meridian on the road in straight sets 25-23, 25-12.
Freshman hitter Katie Dean pounded home a team best 21 kills in the five set swing, while sophomore setter Jessie Martin fed the front row delivering 44 assists. They were also both strong on defense and at the service line combining for six blocks, 12 saves, 12 service points, and five aces.
They opened the week a little rusty dropping the first set to Paris on Monday the 9th. The Lady Tigers used two five-point runs to jump in front early and then held on heading to the second set up 1-0. That’s when it all changed as Martin found Dean at the net numerous times early and then twice late for kills as the Warriors evened it up at one set a piece forcing a third.
From that point on it was all Tuscola as Martin spread the wealth. McKinlee Miller took her share of swings down the stretch, killing two of her five kills on the night in the last 10 points of the match. Karli Dean provided some punch on offense side as well adding five kills to her season stat sheet.
Martin was also strong on defense finding her way to eight saves, but it was Natalie Bates who truly shined in the back row. The senior libero served up the ball to Martin diving her way to a match high 17 digs in the match. Miller and Lexie Russo also came up big on defense both contributing 11 digs as well, while senior classmate Sydney Watson donated seven saves to the cause.
It was all Warriors in the second match of the week. Coach Miller’s squad traded points in game one against Meridian before pulling out a two-point win in game one. And, in game two it was all Warriors as they posted an eight-point run midway through the set and than ran away and hid in the dominating 25-12 Central Illinois Conference match winner.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Oct. 17 edition of The Tuscola Journal.