Tigers eliminated, put up a solid fight
Author: Wendy Reid
Posted: Wednesday, November 07, 2012 at 1:18 PM
PALOS HEIGHTS, Ill. – The No. 6 seeded Olivet Nazarene University volleyball team needed to enter their Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Quarterfinals match with No. 3 seeded Trinity Christian College (Ill.) with a “nothing to lose” attitude. The young Tiger team, who has been plagued all season with inconsistent play, showed signs of the drive and determination needed for the upset. In the end, the Trolls held on for a five-set come from behind victory, winning 25-14, 22-25, 19-25, 25-23, 15-10.
Olivet (11-28, 10-9) came out of the gate a little sluggish, allowing Trinity Christian to take the opening set fairly easily. The Tigers struggled offensively, finishing the set with just eight kills in 32 attempts with six hitting errors for an attack percentage of a mere .062.
A completely different Tiger team took the court in the remaining sets. Though they had to come from behind in every set, they were able to maintain their composure and work together as a team. Senior Katherine Hozian (Elk Grove Village, Ill.) proved herself a leader both offensively and defensively. In what turned out to be the last game of her career, she finished the night with a team-leading 17 kills with just four errors, while also leading the team in digs with 16. Senior Carolyn Goettsch (Utica, Mich.) finished the night with eight kills and five blocks.
“Thank you to our two seniors, Carolyn and Katherine, who stuck by the youngsters and helped us all grow in our walk with the Lord this year”, commented head coach Brenda Williams following the match. “The record doesn’t show it, but it was a good year. We learned to overcome “self”; we became a “team”.”
The match may have brought the end to two Tiger careers; but it showed that the future of the program looks strong. Freshman Becky DeRuiter (Chicago Ridge, Ill.) finished the night with 15 kills, several of which were at key times to propel the momentum back in favor of the Tigers. Fellow freshman Renee Enz (Wilmington, Ill.), orchestrated the offense, dishing out 44 assists. Freshman defensive specialist Carly Wenzelman (Bonfield, Ill.) and sophomore libero Haley Hatalla (Manteno, Ill.) combined for 29 digs, 15 and 14 respectively.
“We went down with a fight. The girls left it on the court and that is all I can ask for. We have seen a lot of improvement throughout the season,” concluded Williams.