By Lenny Sementi
Coach Lydia Millers Lady Warriors entered Saturday’s Casey-Westfield Invite on an up note after opening the 2019 season with a 4-1 record overall, but the ball bounced the wrong way most of the tourney. Tuscola left at .500 on the season dropping 4 of their 5 contests moving to 5-5 overall and never played three set match in the tournament.
They fell in their opener to a strong Olney squad in two games 18-25, 23-25. Tuscola looked like it may force a third game, but a late surge by the Tigers sealed their fate. The Dean sisters Karli and Kate were big at the net for coach Miller delivering five kills apiece to go with a combined five blocks. Maddie Green and Jessie Martin fed the front row serving up six and eight assists, respectively.
Defensive specialist Kyra Moyer led the way in the back row with seven digs to her credit. Grace Voyles, Reagan Wyrich and Martin were next up all finding their way to four saves. Wyrich also tallied three kills as did Kendyl Ring and Marissa Russo.
Mt. Zion snuck past the Warriors in game one 26-28 and then utilized two six-point runs winning game two by eight points 17-25 to take the match in Tuscola’s second outing. Kate Dean was a beast at the net pounding home eight of the Black and Gold’s 17 kills while also finding her way to three blocks. Amelia Bosch also had three blocks and was next up on the kills list with two, while Karli Dean and Wyrich each added a pair to the stat sheet. Green was solid, donating 11 assists and four saves to the cause. Hope Dietrich was also strong in the back row diving her way to a team high six saves.
Unity, who had beaten the Warriors in a thrilling match two nights prior on Thursday, swept Tuscola in their third match of the day 15-25, 18-25 before Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond squeaked out a pair of two-point wins 23-25, 23-25 in Tuscola’s final pool match. The Deans donated a combined 14 kills in the four sets, while Martin and Green accounted for 23 assists. The two setters were also strong at the service line in the loss to ALAH, each notching two aces and seven service points. Bosch banged out six kills in the matches, while Moyer dug out 10 saves.
Miller’s crew didn’t hang their heads despite the rough start grinding out a knock down drag out 28-26 win in game one against St. Anthony in the seventh place game then ran away from the Effingham team in game two 25-11 ending the day with a win.
Bosch slammed home a career best six kills in the two-game sweep, two in the first skirmish and four in the last. She also added three blocks to her season stat sheet. Karli Dean was a jack-of-all-trades, checking in with two aces, thee blocks, four kills and six service points. Both Green and Martin were solid in the assists department securing nine each, while Moyer collected a few more floor burns on her way to seven saves.