Tabor volleyball battles to stay even in KCAC

“Taking Care of Business” could be the motto for the Tabor volleyball team at this point in the season. With just about everyone knotted up in the middle of the conference, someone needs to pull ahead.

“I believe that we are continuing to play better and better,” said coach Amy Ratzlaff.

“I look for our girls to take small steps every single day toward what we want to become, toward the end of the season.”

The team split in conference play this week, winning one and losing two. Their conference record is now 5-8, with an overall record of 7-12.

The Jays lost to Bethany Oct. 16 in three, 4-15, 13-15, 13-15. Ratzlaff said Bethany played good offense with few errors.

“When a team you play against has no errors, it’s really hard to keep battling against them on defense,” she said.

The stats for the night reflected the defensive game. The Bluejays usually have a high number of kills and attacks, but against the Swedes they weren’t able to attack with the same intensity.

Tesha Werth had nine kills and 16 digs. Angela Kroeker had eight kills, while Audrey Loewen had seven kills and four blocks. Carmen Hein, Morissa Seidl and Laurie Fast each had 16 digs. Sara Haggard contributed two aces.

“I felt like the entire evening we were playing defense, and we really never got our offense set up,” said Ratzlaff.

On Thursday, the Bluejays did battle Southwestern before going down in five sets, 9-15, 15-6, 8-15, 15-11, 6-15.

“Actually, I didn’t feel like we played our best game,” Ratzlaff said. “For some reason, we lacked our intensity that evening.”

Ratzlaff said the team’s offense was much more alive than it had been against Bethany, but her team didn’t mix it up enough. Southwestern was able to read and anticipate Tabor’s offense.

The more the Bluejays changed it up, the better they seemed to do. For the night, Werth had 20 kills and 15 digs. Loewen had nine kills, while Kroeker had seven kills and two aces. Haggard finished with 43 assists for the night.

On Saturday, the Bluejays traveled to Kansas Wesleyan and beat the Coyotes, 15-8, 15-13, 15-7.

Ratzlaff said her team did better because they were enjoying themselves.

“Anytime the girls are enjoying the game and just loving what they’re doing, they always tend to play better and things always seem to fall our way,” she said.

The women allowed KW to get ahead in the first and second games, 10-2 and 11-3, before they decided to get serious.

“As much as I don’t want us to get down right away,” said Ratzlaff, “it’s also very good to see the girls find the intensity, do the hard thing, and take care of business.”

Werth had 16 kills, 15 digs and three aces. Kroeker had six kills for the night and Loewen had five. Hillary Driffel had four blocks for the Jays. Hein also had three aces with no serving errors.

Tuesday the Bluejays hosted Bethel for “Parents’ Night,” with both a junior varsity and varsity match. Thursday the women travel to Ottawa, where both the JV and varsity will play again.

Kroeker, a freshman from Hillsboro, was named KCAC “Player of the Week” in the KCAC last week. She had 33 kills for the week with only three errors. She had 78 attempts on attacks with a kill percentage of 38.5. She also had two aces and 22 digs.

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