After tough week, team hopes to start to reach its potential
The Iowa High school volleyball schedule makers haven't been kind to the Tornado spikers, if last week was any indication.
It was homecoming week at Storm Lake High, and the Tornadoes were on the road in Estherville Tuesday, at home Thursday against LeMars, then were scheduled to play in the Schaller-Crestland tournament on Saturday.
According to Tornado head volleyball coach Jacquie Bauer, the heavy schedule and homecoming week activities took its toll on her already young team.
"We were just dead tired by Saturday, the morning after the homecoming football game and the dance," Bauer said. "Earlier in the week, some of our girls were involved in other activities, like the coronation and the powder-puff football game."
And how's this for a reward. After all of that, the Tornadoes had a 9 p.m. date Saturday morning here with perhaps the best volleyball team in the area - Schaller-Crestland.
"They have some girls who can really put the ball down," Bauer said. "(Coach) Marilyn (Murra) does a great job with them every year."
Saturdays match with the Wildcats was predictable, as Schaller-Crestland - the eventual tourney champs - won in two games, 21-12 and 21-5.
Things didn't get much easier for the SLH spikers in game two of the tourney, a 21-14, 21-12 loss to powerful Cherokee.
Storm Lake, did however, salvage their final match of the day, beating Missouri Valley, 18-21, 21-17 and 15-13.
"It was nice to end the day on a winning note, even though we didn't advance in the tournament," Bauer said.
Junior middle hitter Amy Sennert led the Tornadoes on the day. She made the all-tournament team named after Schaller Crestland defeated Cherokee 21-11 and 22-20 in the afternoon championship game.
Sennert finished the day with three ace hits on 15 of 17 hitting. Sophomore Trish Halder added two kills while making good on 10 of 14 hits while Jess Overturf was seven of ten with two ace hits. Jenny Jones was six of seven in hitting and Erin Anderson seven of eight.
Halder led the way in serving with nine points, while Sennert added seven and Jones and Anderson six each. In addition, senior Tina Otto was 24 of 25 in setting with four assists and Anderson 26 of 27 with four assists. Jess Overturf was 21 of 23 in setting with one set assist. At the net, Sammy Evans had ten blocks.
That gave the Tornadoes a 2-11 record overall. They're currently 0-4 in Lakes Conference play but will have a chance for their first conference win Thursday night when Spencer comes to town.
"For some reason, we just haven't played well at home, especially last Thursday against LeMars," Bauer said.
Storm Lake has, however, played well on the road, the coach said. It won it's first game of the season by beating a tough Pocahontas team and also played close games on the road with Estherville and Emmetsburg.
"We're still a young group and the future of Tornado volleyball is bright," Bauer said. "But we'd like to start see it sooner rather than later."
The coach said her team has talent, particularly strong hitting and improved passing and setting. What's been lacking is communication on the floor.
"We have all the pieces to the puzzle and our girls know it," Bauer said. "We just have to talk to each other on the floor. I can't go out on the court and do that for them."
Bauer knows her team will be the underdog Thursday night against Spencer, but would like the home crowd to see the true talent of her team.
"We didn't play well and had a little lapse during homecoming week," Bauer said. "But the potential is there and our immediate goal is to play well Thursday against Spencer."