Bluejays learn from conference loss to KW

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Tabor volleyball team’s return to the KCAC was a harsh one last week was the Bluejays lost their first conference match of the season.

Kansas Wesleyan defeated Tabor, 28-30, 26-30, 30-26, 22-30.

“We just did not play our game,” coach Amy Ratzlaff said. “Kansas Wesleyan is a good offensive team and we couldn’t get two positive things is a row against them.

“If you’re going to play that way in college, the other team is going to be able to hit the ball,” she added. “I think KW will end up in the top three in the conference.”

Angela Kroeker led the team with 45 attacks and also recorded 11 kills. Laura Campbell had 32 attacks with 14 kills.

“Laura Campbell is the only one who really played well,” Ratzlaff said. “She dominated from the attack.”

As a team, the Bluejays were credited with 47 kills.

Jill Hein paced the team with 21 serve-receives while Carmen Hein led in serves attempted with 21.

Erin Loewen and Angela Kroeker were credited with 12 digs each. Campbell led the Bluejays with four blocked shots, while Rachelle Regier was credited with five assists.

“The women were frustrated on the way home,” Ratzlaff said. “It wasn’t just one thing. We had to figure out what happened in several different areas.”

With the loss, Tabor fell to 8-8 overall and 4-1 in KCAC play.

“The good thing is since everything was bad, we just chalked it up to having a bad day,” Ratzlaff said. “Some days are just like that. But the pain of losing is sometimes the best motivator.”

Ottawa- Tabor seemed motivated in its next match and claimed a three-game victory over Ottawa to raise its record to 5-1 in KCAC play.

Tabor won, 30-26, 30-23, 30-20.

“I don’t think we played our best match against Ottawa, but it was a good next step,” Ratzlaff said. “The women realized we need to hit harder, and I think we began to do just that.

“We played well enough, but it definitely wasn’t where we’ve been playing against other teams.”

Shannon Kroeker led the way with 11 kills on just 19 attempts. Tabor was credited with 45 kills for the match.

“Shannon is capable of hitting the ball harder and she’s realizing she is a person who has the capability of giving us that,” Ratzlaff said. “I’ve seen her gain confidence and she knows that’s a role she can play.”

Sara McAllister led the Bluejays with 31 sets in 93 attempts. Carmen Hein recorded five aces in 17 service attempts. Erin Loewen led the Bluejays with 19 serves received while committing just three errors.

As a team, Tabor worked for 93 digs, with Loewen leading the way with 17, followed by McAllister with 16, Hein had 13 and Angela Kroeker recorded 12.

Laura Campbell recorded the only two blocks of the match with five assists.

“One of our goals is to hit the ball harder,” Ratzlaff said. “When you hit the ball harder, you cause more errors.

Tabor was scheduled to host McPherson on Tuesday. On Thursday, the Bluejays travel to Bethel and on Saturday they go to to Wichita to battle Friends.

“This week is huge, with all three matches being big,” Ratzlaff said. “We’re just getting to the end of our first round. Right now I’m pleased with our conference record, but this week will tell us how we really did for the first half.”

Ratzlaff said Saturday’s scheduled junior-varsity match has been cancelled. Only the varsity will be in action at Friends, with the match scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

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