In Division 1 volleyball playoffs, New Richmond hosted Superior on Thursday. The Tigers could never get all of the pieces of their attack working at the same time, losing to Superior 25-16, 25-23, 25-13.
The Tigers opened the night with a number of hitting errors and they could never get an extended stretch where all aspects of their game was working. The hitting issues led to the Tigers taking a 25-16 loss in the opening set of their home-court match Thursday. The Tigers were the eighth seed in the regional bracket and Superior was the ninth seed.
The best extended stretch for the Tigers came in the second set. The hitting and blocking began to roll and the Tigers maintained a 3-4 point lead through most of the set. The Tigers had chances to compound the lead, but several missed serves in the middle of set allowed Superior to stay close.
The Tigers led 20-16, but the Tigers began having serve reception issues late in the set. Superior tied the score for the first time at 23-23 and the Spartans continued the run, taking the final two points to win 25-23.
That loss sapped whatever energy the Tigers had left. With the serving and serve receiving both struggling, the Tigers went away quickly in the third set, losing 25-13.
This match was the final one the Tigers will play under varsity coach Al Getschel. Getschel took a new job last summer and he has made it clear throughout the season that his new job obligations meant that he would no longer have the time available for coaching once the 2019 season was completed.
Getschel said this was not how or where the Tigers wanted their season to end.
“I wanted to go to River Falls and end it there,” Getschel said. He said the energy was great in practice all week, but the Tigers couldn’t carry that into Thursday’s match.
“We couldn’t keep a roll going,” he said, pointing to double-digit missed serves plus mistakes in other areas as reasons why. He said Superior had much stronger passing, which allowed the Spartans to have a more persistent hitting attack.
Mandy Dolezal was the Tigers’ leading hitter with eight kills and Brittany Emmerich finished with seven kills. They also had the Tigers’ best hitting percentages. The Tigers had 27 kills and 27 hitting errors, reflecting the struggles they had throughout the match. Dolezal and Abbie Blaszczyk led the Tigers with eight digs each.