|Dragons fall to Burlington in volleyball season opener|
|Written by Darci Tomky|
Lady Dragon volleyball players hit the home court for their season opener against Burlington Thursday, Sept. 3, losing in four games.
Holyoke fell to the Cougars in the first two games with scores of 18-25 and 22-25. They fought back for a win in the third game 25-19, but lost in the fourth 20-25.
“Obviously the game didn’t turn out the way we all had hoped,” said coach Sandra Rahe. “It would have been nice to start with a win, but instead we saw a lot of things we can work on this week.” She noted the athletes need to concentrate on consistency and execution as well as limiting hitting and service errors.
“These are things we can control and need to do better on our side of the court,” said Rahe. The team also had several net calls. “Again, we just need to be disciplined to not give up those free points to the other team,” said Rahe.
Burlington had an amazing defensive team according to Rahe, and they were able to handle Dragon hits very well. Holyoke reacted with an alternate offensive plan and found success in several tip kills.
All 11 of Elise Nelson’s kills were from tip kills. Rahe noted these aren’t as exciting for the crowd, but they are just as effective as a hard driven hit when it comes to the scoreboard.
Kendra Timm led in serving with 16 for 11 points including two aces. Chasity Pelle served 17 for 9 points. Timm had 32 attacks including 12 kills, while Marissa Smith had 24 attacks against Burlington with 13 kills.
In blocking, Timm led with three solo blocks and 10 assists. She also led the Dragons in digs with 40. Timm and Smith both had 15 serve receives. Pelle had 92 sets including 35 assists for kills.
“I see a lot of potential in these girls. Throughout the match I never doubt their commitment, and they never give in,” said Rahe. “I feel as though we are just about to break through to the next level of volleyball, but we all (athletes and coaches) will have to give more and more each day to get there.”
JV and C teams win
Holyoke’s junior varsity team finished with a win over Burlington Thursday night. They won the first game 25-19, lost the second 16-25 and finished with a 15-10 win.
C team also opened their season with a win against the Cougars in three games. While they lost the first game 20-25, they came back strong to win 25-22 and 15-9 in the next two games.
This week, the Dragons will travel to Grant Thursday, Sept. 10 for a 4:30 p.m. game. They will also play four matches at the NJC tournament in Sterling Saturday, Sept. 12 at 9 a.m.
Holyoke will host Imperial Tuesday, Sept. 15 and Merino Thursday, Sept. 17 for the HHS Homecoming contest, both with games beginning at 4 p.m.
“We have a very tough schedule right here at the beginning of our season,” said Rahe. “It will challenge the girls to get better faster in the next couple weeks.”