’Cats season ends with tournament loss

Karly Ratzenberger

The Wildcat volleyball team ended its season last week with an overall record of 15-14.

The ’Cats lost 3-0 in the quarterfinal match in the GLIAC tournament on Thursday, Nov. 10 against Ashland University.

Senior outside hitter Emma Wolfe said she was disappointed in the match’s outcome and that the team did not play to their potential.

“We could have played a lot better than how we did,” Wolfe said. “It was hard because both teams needed to win the GLIAC tournament to go onto the NCAA tournament.”

Head coach Dominic Yoder said the tournament did not turn out as he had hoped and that the season should have ended differently.

Although Yoder said the team was well prepared, they did not play to their abilities.

“The tournament did not go as well as we had planned,” Yoder said. It was a difficult end to a season filled with high expectations.”

Sophomore outside/middle hitter Kalli Herron said the team was ready for the match against their opponents, but Ashland ended up on top.
“Ashland played really well and they were very well prepared and that showed on the court,” Herron said. “We came in prepared as well but ended up being out played.”

Wolfe said the team had difficulties in many areas of play on Thursday, mainly blocking, which may have contributed to the lack of performance. The ’Cats also had a difficult time getting past Ashland’s defense.

“We struggled trying to defend their offense with blocking and defense,” Wolfe said. “We also had a tough time getting the ball down.”

Herron said the team’s defense on Thursday was much improved. The ’Cats had a total of six blocks against Ashland.

“Our blocking looked a lot better this weekend,” Herron said. “It improved a lot from the last time we played Ashland.”

The ’Cats offensive play helped them to stay in the match and compete; however, their total of 26 kills could not compete with Ashland’s 46. The Wildcats lost the three games 16-25, 10-25 and 22-25.

Despite the team’s offensive play, Yoder said the energy in the match on Thursday was not enough to help the ’Cats pull through.

“The energy wasn’t as high as we needed,” Yoder said. “The lack of energy was mostly caused by Ashland’s high level of play and contributed to our lack of success.”

Herron said the energy was very detrimental to the team’s potential success; however, the ’Cats did not have enough vitality to compete.

“At times, our energy was really low; we needed to stay excited and competitive all game to keep up with Ashland and their fans,” Herron said. “Since the energy was low at certain points, I do feel that it affected our play; typically when we got stuck in long ruts of points.”

Yoder said the team needed to improve on their consistent level of play and competitiveness in the match on Thursday, which may have had an effect on the team’s loss.
Wolfe said she regrets the team’s inability to go further in the GLIAC tournament due to the amount of talented players on the team and their potential to go far.

“Overall, I wish the season had gone a lot better,” Wolfe said. “We had so much talent on the team this year, and I wish our record would have shown that.”

Yoder said Wolfe once again played to her potential in Thursday’s match and helped the team fight back against Ashland. Wolfe had a total of nine kills in the match.

“Emma Wolfe finished her senior season a high point in set three versus Ashland,” Yoder said.

Herron and sophomore outside hitter Lina Lopes both followed close behind Wolfe with six kills respectively.

Junior libero/defensive specialist Kalin Zimmerman led the Wildcats in defense with 13 digs.

Although the ’Cats did not finish as expected; Yoder said the team achieved many accomplishments such as an overall winning record.

“With so much talent, it was less than expected,” Yoder said. “The team still managed a winning season, spending a couple weeks being ranked in the Top 25 and making the GLIAC tournament.”

The Wildcats will be spending the rest of the semester resting up for the winter semester.

“The winter semester, beginning in January, will be the beginning for the 2012 season preparations,” Yoder said. “The team will be working on individual skill training, physical strength and conditioning as well as a spring competitive season in March and April.”