Ansonia Lady Tigers thump Lady Blazers in straight sets
NEW PARIS – The visiting Ansonia Tigers made quick work of the National Trail Lady Blazers – winning in the 3 sets. The first set was close, but the other 2 sets were won decisively. It was a league win for the Tigers and this places them right in the middle of conference standings this week with a 5-4 WOAC record. With the season winding down the Tigers will need to make the most of every match to claw their way up through the standings. The scores were: 25-21, 25-13, 25-14.
Coach Buckingham, “We’ve had a goal this entire season to finish in the top half of the WOAC. We pretty much need to win out to make it happen. So we were ready to play. Now in the 1st set we weren’t – we were kind of asleep. But we woke up in the next 2 sets and won by wide margins. We have had some girls injured and we are working them back in.”
The 1st set was very much a battle. A vocal home crowd helped the Blazers play with intensity. It was a rubber band set where Ansonia would score a little and try to open lead, but Trail would bounce back and close the gap. But Trail took the lead 15-16, and Coach Buckingham took a time out. Whatever was said seemed to flip a switch with the Tiger team. They grew a lead and at one point were up by 4, 22-18. Trail tried to bounce back one more time but the Tigers closed strong thanks in part to big plays by Kenzie Singer (a block) and Kylee Winner (kill) who propelled the Tigers to the win.
Winning that first set was critical as it made the other team play from behind and also gave the visiting Tigers early momentum. Maddie Buckingham had back to back service aces early in this set and the aforementioned Kenzie Singer made plays throughout the set. Singer had 4-kills and a block for a score as well as performing her duties as a setter. Winner had 4-kills in this set and played well on the front line.
“Kenzie Singer is a senior leader. Not only is she a setter, she plays all around. She does well with assists for the team. She gives us kills and blocks as well. She is a good all-around volleyball player.”
The Tiger team seems to have a front line by committee. They rotate several players in to the front line but there is no single player on the front line for others teams to focus on. So there is no one or two players racking up all the kills, but rather a group of players that can attack when called upon.
“It’s a team effort – every girl can play every position at any given time. I don’t really need a main hitter – the entire team can play every spot.”
After getting the momentum, the Tigers pretty much quieted down the home crowd. In the second set, Abby Kramer seemed to set the tone. Under her service, Ansonia had a good run early in the set to open a lead. She contributed several kills and later had another strong service run to give Ansonia a commanding 21-11 lead at the end of the set.
In the last set it was Alyssa Noggler who served up a 9-0 run early in the match to give the Tigers a 14-5 lead. She had an ace during the run, Nelah Schlarman had a kill, and Singer had 2-blocks for scores. The Tiger defense was tough down the stretch and didn’t let the Blazers mount much of a comeback.
The Tigers close out the week against Troy Christian which has a big front line, then go back to league play with a match against Franklin Monroe on Tuesday.