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Tuscola Warriors volleyball seniors take one last ride in season

By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola volleyball coach Lydia Miller’s squad wrapped up their year this past week posting a punctuation mark at the end of it collecting a pair of non-conference victories. They ended the truncated season with a two game sweep of Arcola on their home floor downing the Riders 25-22, 25-21 on Thursday. Two nights earlier she took her six seniors on one last road trip where they collected a three set victory over a good Villa Grove team in a three game thriller 25-17, 23-25, 25-20 after dropping their opener at Unity in two sets 15-25, 10-25. 

Seniors Kate Dean, Hope Dietrich, Jessie Martin, Kendyl Ring, Marissa Russo and Laney Cummings and went out swinging. Dean added 33 kills to her career and season stat sheet, including a match high 16 verse VG. Martin set a career best mark against the Blue Devils as well posting 32 of her 53 assists on the week against the Lady Blue Devils. Ring did a little bit of everything delivering five aces, two blocks, 22 digs, two assists and six kills in her final week on the court in the black and gold. Russo was a jack-of-all-trades as well credited with eight kills, 16 saves and two blocks. Dietrich played in just two contests but still found her way to 18 digs from her libero position while Cummings donated 12 digs, four kills, two blocks and two aces. 

It was a rough opening to the week on Monday the 21 at the Rocket Center in Tolono. Unity jumped out to a quick lead in set one and never looked back, flying through the second set as well with a pair of seven-point runs on the way to victory. Dean led all Warriors with five kills while Amelia Bosch tallied three and Ring and Russo two. Martin and Kerri Pierce shared the ball on offense recording six and five assists respectively. Defensively, Ring was at the top of the list with seven digs, next was Russo and sophomore Isabelle Wilcox with four, followed by Cummings checking in with three saves. 

The next night later it was a different story as the Warriors collected a win in the first set on the road at VG thanks to a late run fueled by kills from the twin towers Dean and Bosch. Martin found both twice late giving the Warriors a 1-0 advantage heading to the second set. VG fired back winning a thrilling back and forth skirmish to even it up at one apiece forcing a third game. 

Martin fed the bookend outside hitters again in the deciding set and Ring, Russo, Dietrich and Reagan Wyrich covered the backcourt like a blanket securing the win for coach Miller and the black and gold. There were impressive stat lines all over the board; just a few would be Dean with 16 kills, five digs, four aces and two blocks and Martin 32 assists, nine digs, one kill and two aces. Ring also provided a well-balanced effort with nine digs, two kills, one assist, two blocks and three aces while Cummings added eight digs, two kills, two blocks and two aces. 

They put a bow on the season on Thursday winning game one at home verse Arcola with a late flurry of kills. Then backed it up in the second with solid passing and a Martin-Dean connection up front to end the suspense with a four-point set and match victory moving to 9-9 on the year and 4-3 in the CIC. Martin showed up with 16 assists, four digs, two aces and a kill while Dean accounted for 11 kills, two blocks and an ace. Dietrich was tops on defense finishing her career adding eight more saves to her resume.

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