Vols Have Mixed Results at Challenging Parkland Tournament
Over the weekend, the Lady Vols played in their most difficult tournament this season. The results were inconsistent.
Friday the Vols suffered a blowout loss to Kirkwood CC (Iowa) 21-25, 11-25, 20-25. Kirkwood is currently ranked #13 nationally by the NJCAA, so the loss was not totally unexpected. "Kirkwood played a very advanced, quick style of offense and was unusually efficient in doing so. Most teams that try to run things that quickly end up being inconsistent, but they were totally on their game. In our conference and region, offenses don't tend to run that quickly. We had a difficult time adjusting to their pace and definitely got rattled at times," said Coach Burnside.
Later in the evening on Friday, the Vols showed some resilience and bounced back with a convincing 25-18, 25-16, 25-21 victory over McHenry CC. The Vols defensive effort was a key to the win, digging 35 balls in the first two games to set the tone for the match. The offense was also efficient with a .329 percentage. Coach felt like, "that match was critical for us. In the past we have had a hard time getting back on track after a tough loss. The turn-around we made Friday night against McHenry really carried over to better volleyball all day Saturday."
Although the team did play considerably better on Saturday, they were still unable to overcome a tough #12 ranked Des Moines Area CC (Iowa) squad early Saturday morning. The Vols lost a difficult 5 set match 25-23, 20-25, 18-25, 25-16, 10-15. Although the team played very solid defense both at the net with a tournament high in blocks and on the floor with over 15 digs per game, they were unable to overcome the size of Des Moines. The Bears blocking ability slowed the Vols offense just enough to take the victory.
Going into the final match of the tournament against Illinois Central College, Logan had already played 11 sets of volleyball in the last 24 hours. ICC was coming in fresh for their first match. Despite that disadvantage, the Vols were able to pull out a hard-fought 15-25, 25-15, 25-15, 28-26 victory. "The girls were pretty lifeless in the first set of that match, and the score reflected it. It would have been very easy for us to give up at that point and blame a loss on fatigue. I was very happy to see our girls fought through that and created the energy necessary to pull out a nice win. It was also great to see us finish the win in that tight, difficult 28-26 game four. We have been struggling to finish matches and the team really worked hard to close this one out," said Coach.
Over the weekend, Shelbey Saye led the team with 76 assists and added 24 digs. Taytum Murdock finished with 57 assists and 39 digs. Outside hitter Olivia Hallet had 33 kills and 39 Digs. Kim Hall had another outstanding all-around tournament leading the team with 38 kills. She also made 40 digs and led the team with 5 aces. Kameryn Sillmon led the team defensively at the net with 14 blocks. Bryleigh Buchanan contributed 23 kills and 7 blocks. On the floor, the defense was led by freshmen Libero Alanis Below who finished with 61 digs.