Monday, September 06, 2010

Volleyball in paper

Weather-wise, it didn’t get much nicer than this weekend.

And it was an even nicer week for the Washington volleyball team.

The Panthers went 4-0 including a title victory at the Limestone Invitational on Saturday.

Third-year coach Chuck Heinz is quick to credit the experience of his team.

“We’ve been able to expand on what we did last year,” said Heinz, who noted this is his deepest team of his tenure.

And also, his setters.

Sarah Misselhorn, Cori Venegonia and Taylor Kuykendall have been dishing out assists to a number of hitters.

Take the three matches on Saturday: Leixie Barra, Emily Heurmann and Haley Houser all took turns leading the Panthers in kills.

“It’s usually somebody different every night, which I like to see,” Heinz said. “That means our setters are doing a nice job of being dynamic and running different hitters. The credit has definitely got to go to the setters.”

However, one thing Heinz isn’t exactly sure on is his libero.

Splitting time in the different colored jersey are Mary Gabbert and Brittany Spurgeon.

“Both of them are making it extremely difficult for me to make a decision,” Heinz said with a laugh.

Sounds like a nice problem to have.

Midland Regroups: It wasn’t the best start to the season for Midland.

The Timberwolves went 1-3 at the Eureka Invitational getting its only win against LeRoy.

This week was an entirely different story. Midland beat both Lowpoint-Washburn and LaMoille to even its record at 3-3.

“We’re starting to play very well as a team,” Midland coach Matt Butcher said. “That’s our focus for the season. We are realizing that it takes everybody’s help to play good volleyball.”

The second-year coach has already started to turn the program around.

In his first season, the Timberwolves went 8-18-3 in 2009 — that doubled 2008’s win total.

With four returning seniors, including outside hitter Haley Hrovat, Midland is well on its way to making positive strides in 2010.

“We are working on communication,” Butcher said, “and understanding that constructive criticism only makes us all play better.”