ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ANDREW OTTOSON
Having won six consecutive games on the way to a pair of match wins, the Tabor College volleyball team has opened its season on a roll.
The Bluejays opened its conference season last Monday, Sept. 4, at home by beating the Sterling Warriors in three straight games.
Having displayed a measure of dominance in a 30-21 victory in the first game, the Bluejays showed resolve and determination in the second game.
Even with Sterling repeatedly rallying to even the score, coach Amy Ratzlaff’s squad held its ground and never allowed the Warriors to make a run to pull ahead.
Tabor’s efforts were rewarded with a 31-29 win. The third game was decided by a score of 30-25.
Traci Neufeld led Tabor in serving with four aces; Audrey Schellenberg added three.
Staci (Whitcomb) Frick nailed a team-high 17 kills for the night and scored on 54 percent of her attempts.
Ashley Malcom added 10 kills and Kelsi Suderman six.
On Wednesday, the team traveled to Ottawa, where Lindsey Vogts stepped up her game on a rare night when multiple Bluejay hitters struggled to finish.
Vogts had 13 kills on 21 tries and finished on 62 percent of the passes that came her way.
Suderman, Malcom and Ashley McKillip combined for 12 kills and eight errors; Frick made five errors to go with her six kills.
“The errors on the team really do not bother me at this point, but our kills per game is not where it should be,” Ratzlaff said.
Neufeld served three aces and Schellenberg added one ace to 27 assists as the Bluejays earned their victory, 31-29, 31-29, 30-25.
“The women on the team did a great job focusing in on the win,” Ratzlaff said.
“I was impressed by their calm determination at the end of the close games.”
Coming-Tabor (2-2) is scheduled to play at Ottawa tonight (Wednesday), then will travel to Branson, Mo., for a two-day competition hosted by College of the Ozarks on Friday and Saturday. Haskell University, Freed Hardman and Park University will join Tabor and the home school in the five-team field.
The Bluejays will be at home next Tuesday, Sept. 19, against Southwestern. Matches begin at 7 p.m.