TYLER-Pipestone Area was able to capitalize on the first game jitters of a young Russell-Tyler-Ruthon squad. With the Knights struggling to find a rhythm throughout the match, the Arrows earned a three set sweep with 25-11, 25-14 and 25-22 wins.
"Pipestone is definitely not the team that they have had our here the last two years," RTR head coach TJ Williams said. "I give them props, they definitely stepped-up tonight."
After dropping the first set, the Knights took their first lead of the series 6-5 in the second behind a tip from outside hitter Nicole Enemark. However, the Knights were unable to keep their serves fair, pushing the Arrows to another set victory. "We need to work on their serves and make sure we don't miss any as a varsity team unless we are serving aggressive, which we are not," Williams said. "Over and in is all we are looking for right now."
Photo by Lauren Beukelman
RTR’s Janel Wichern gets the ball over Pipestone’s Taryn Woelber and Taylor Krusselbrink during Pipestone’s 3-1 win Tuesday night.
In the final set of the match the Knights came together to challenge Pipestone to the very end. RTR took an early 8-4, but a strong defensive front from Arrows' sophomores Alexis Evans and Kaiya Alderson slowed the Knights attack. "I wasn't expecting them to block quite that well on our big outside hitters," Williams said. "But their were a few times that we just left their blockers camped out there for out hitters."
Despite falling to a 20-15 deficit, the Knights were able to shake up the Arrows, rallying four unanswered points to trail only 20-19. Bailey Possail picked-up a kill to continue RTR's final charge but it wasn't enough to keep the Knights alive. Pipestone's Alderson was able to find the floor, finishing the match in the Arrows favor.
Enemark led the Knights with six kills, 7 digs and 5-7 serving. Janel Wichern added five kills and Possail had four. Britney Miersma contributed 15 set assists in the effort