ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
Tabor’s volleyball machine kept on chugging Thursday with a three-game home win over Kansas Wesleyan, 30-14, 30-19, 30-26.
“I don’t feel like we played our best match against KWU, but I did see a solid effort from the squad,” coach Amy Ratzlaff said. “We made lot of good adjustments on the court during the match.”
Setting the stage, literally, was Anne Gunden, who was credited with 36 assists in 88 attempts.
“Ann has made some adjustments in her setting which have led to a much more effective offense this week,” Ratzlaff said. “She averaged 14.5 assists against Bethel and 12 per game against KWU. These figures are well above average, and it shows on the court.”
Primary beneficiaries of those sets were Staci Whitcomb and Lindsey Vogts. Whitcomb had 28 attack hits and 12 kills while Vogts recorded 11 kills in 20 hits.
“Staci went to the next level in her hitting this week,” Ratzlaff said. “She’s such a solid all-around player that her ability to hit with the force that she does is just icing on the cake.”
Jill Hein also turned in a solid performance at middle hitter.
“Lindsey and Jill had very solid hitting games this week,” she said. “Lindsey had 27 kills and Jill had 20. The amazing thing is that each middle only had two hitting errors. Being reliable and effective made them unstoppable.”
Tabor committed just four service errors in 87 attempts.
Erin Loewen led the defense with 13 digs while Hein, Johannah Love and Whitcomb each contributed 11 digs. Hein added a team-high four solo blocks and three assists.
With the win, Tabor climbed into a first-place tie with Ottawa with a 9-2 mark in the KCAC. Tabor is 12-10 overall.
Bethel-Tabor won a huge road victory against Bethel College on Tuesday. The teams entered the match in a tie for second place in the conference at 7-2.
When it was over, the Bluejays stood alone in second place, thanks to a 30-25, 30-24, 29-31, 30-24 victory.
“We went into this game with a lot of support from our crowd,” coach Amy Ratzlaff said. “The women have been working hard to prepare for this game.
“We know Bethel will always play a great game, so it was exciting to see the women rise to the occasion and play hard. As a squad, I felt we had more focused intensity than we had last week.”
Tabor was strong at the net, registering 164 attacks, which resulted 65 kills. Staci Whitcomb had 17 kills in 43 attempts to pace Tabor. Lindsay Vogts added 16 kills in 29 attempts, Jill Hein 13 in 23 and Erin Loewen 12 in 34.
“Everyone did a great job in their individual spots,” Ratzlaff said. “The stats show that a lot of great things happened.”
Setter Anne Gunden recorded 58 assists in 141 attempts, or 14.5 per game.
“We passed well, played good defense and ran a smoother offense,” Ratzlaff said.
Hein led the defense with eight of”This match was a very energizing way to begin the second round,” Ratzlaff said. “We need to continue that intensity if we’re going to make an impact during the second round.
“There’s a lot of volleyball to play yet.”
Coming-The Bluejays were to host Ottawa Tuesday in a huge match. Tabor travels to Friends University on Thursday before returning home Saturday to host Southern Nazarene, starting at noon.