In a much needed win, IMS was able to overcome Columbus in three sets, 25-20, 27-25, 25-15. “We had just played the Wildcats in the Highland tournament and lost in straight sets.” After that loss, and a disappointing three set loss to WACO in the same tournament, the team and coaches felt a win tonight would help our confidence going into the Highland match and conference tournament,” coach Miller said.
“By keeping our unforced errors down, and following our game plan, we demonstrated these factors are key to us winning,” coach Miller noted. The set scores remained close for the initial portion of each set, but the more consistent, aggressive play of IMS took the Wildcats out of system for most of the evening, which IMS was able to capitalize on by turning freeballs into points. “I was pleased with our aggressive play and the team’s desire to terminate points quickly. These are two areas of focus in practice. Additionally, I am especially proud of the team remaining focused, not letting down, and pulling out the close win in the second set,” coach Miller emphatically stated.
A lineup change consisting of moving Alyssa Hershberger to right front, and Rubye Ney to middle hitter helped contain Columbus’s all-conference hitter Shania Boyd. “Alyssa and Rubye and the team adjusted nicely to this change after practicing in them for only one day,” Miller remarked. “We learned after our loss to the Wildcats at Saturday’s tournament, containing Boyd and keeping Columbus out of system would be key to winning,” coach Miller commented.
Statistical leaders for the night were: Alijah Beatty with 13 assists, Alyssa Hershberger, Rubye Ney, and Mia Graber had four kills each and Suzanna Yoder rounded out the defense with 14 digs.
The Fresh/Soph team won in two sets, as did the JV team. Allison Moreland led the team with five serving aces, while Katelyn Layman had four digs. “Both teams’ defenses and strong serving were key to our wins,” coach Shaina Helmuth said.
IMS’ “seventh player”, the student section, was very colorful tonight with their beach theme. Students were seen wearing scuba goggles, Hawaiian shirts, and sunglasses. A hammerhead shark joined the students for the match, as did the omnipresent big, yellow banana. “We are very thankful for our student section. They definitely bring the gym alive and boost the team’s spirit,” Miller laughingly noted!
Up next for IMS is the Wilton tournament this Saturday, followed by an away match at Highland on Tuesday.