McKenzie Thompson (Plato, Texas) finished with a tournament high 10 service aces (0.71/set).
Despite slow start, Tigers return on high note
Author: Wendy Reid
Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 10:55 PM
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Olivet Nazarene University volleyball team spent the season a year ago being called “young” and heard a lot about “potential”. The 2013 version of the Tiger volleyball team is ready to put that behind them and show what they can do. They are hoping to hear things like “contenders”, hoping to return to the NAIA National Tournament like the program is accustomed to.
Despite returning from the Westminster College Invite with a 1-3 record, in the end, the Tigers feel good about their trip. “We have a ton of depth on this team,” said head coach Brenda Williams. “We have more depth now that we have ever had, even on some of our highly ranked teams of the past. We played around with the line-up and finally found one that worked well in that last match.”
“It’s good to come home on a win,” Williams continued. “We had a team meeting that helped put some things into perspective for some of the girls. It really helped change the attitude.”
Senior McKenzie Thompson (Plato, Texas) led the Tigers throughout the weekend. She was the stable, consistent player that held things together. In the opener with Cornerstone University (Mich.), Thompson finished with 11 kills in 39 attempts. She also added three service aces. Olivet picked up the first set, before dropping the next three (25-16, 17-25, 23-25, 20-25). Sophomore Renee Enz (Wilmington, Ill.) finished with 29 assists and 12 digs, while junior Haley Hatalla (Manteno, Ill.) added 14 digs. Senior Katelyn Miller (Avon, Ind.) and sophomore Becky DeRuiter (Chicago Ridge, Ill.) each added six block assists.
The Tigers then faced the host Westminster College (Utah), falling in straight sets (13-25, 22-25, 19-25). Thompson finished with seven kills and three service aces. Enz dished out 26 assists and Hatalla added 12 digs.
Day two saw some new faces step up and break out. Freshman Katie Tabisz (Lockport, Ill.) finished the match with Dixie State University (Utah) with 18 assists, as the Tigers began to try some new offensive strategy. DeRuiter finished with nine kills in 15 attempts with just two errors for an attack percentage of .467. Thompson and sophomore Carly Wenzelman (Bonfield, Ill.) each added eight digs. The Tigers fell in straight sets (21-25, 15-21, 19-25).
In the final match against Hope International University (Cal.), the Tigers came away with a four-set victory (25-18, 26-24, 18-25, 25-15). Miller finished with 11 kills in 19 attempts (.368) and added eight block assists. Junior transfer Tiffany Madura (Munster, Ind.) added eight kills in 16 attempts with no hitting errors (.500) with seven block assists. Tabisz and Enz provided 20 and 11 assists, respectively.
The Tigers (1-3) return will participate in the Indiana Wesleyan/Taylor University Cross-over on Aug. 30-31. The weekend is co-hosted by the two universities. Olivet will take on Marian University (Ind.) and Taylor on Friday, Aug. 30 at Taylor in Upland, Ind. They will then travel to Marion, Ind. to take on Indiana Institute of Technology and Texas Wesleyan University at Indiana Wesleyan.