“We take nothing negative from this game, and a lot of positives.” That quote from Wawasee head coach Jeff Phillips was his summary of what the team saw from tonight’s match in which his team dropped three games to the Lady Chargers 20-25, 12-25, and 10-25.
“Our focus right now with five games left is not only to win as many games as we can, but to prepare for sectionals,” Phillips said. “We’re going to take these last few chances in game situations to not only try to win, but to get ourselves in the position to be as confident as we can be going into the tournament.”
It was safe to say that the Lady Warriors confidence was through the roof before the match as the squad came out with something to prove against a Memorial team that has dominated not only Wawasee, but most of the NLC in recent seasons. Memorial lost its first NLC game since 2001 to Warsaw earlier this year, a run of 76 consecutive games.
The two teams went back and forth in the first game, exchanging points on almost every serve. Memorial tried to pull away early but some resilience from Wawasee in a few long rallies kept the Lady Warriors in the game.The Lady Chargers could not grab a lead larger than two points until late in the game when Wawasee fell behind 20-17. Wawasee refused to back down though and clawed back to make it 21-20 before losing the final four points of the game.
The second game was less than impressive, but Memorial showed it still has plenty of fight left in it. One person that noticed the sluggish performance was Lady Charger head coach Jacquie Rost.
“I thought we were a little flat in those first two matches to be quite honest with you, but we finished well and that’s what matters,” Rost said.
After the game a positive Phillips continued to focus on, well, the positives.
“Our block was the best it has been all season tonight, and that’s a testament to say that against Memorial, they’re going to get kills,” Phillips stated. “We had a ton of block touches and a ton of blocks. What that tells me is that some of the things we’ve worked on in that area of our game have improved. That’s huge going forward.”
Taylor Spangle led the team with 3 blocks while teammate Hunter Gaerte led the team with six kills and also inking 14 digs and one and a half blocks.Alli Ousley lead the team in assists with 12 and Aly Anderson had 16 digs. For Memorial, Tori Mills led her team with 21 assists while Claire Welter had 20 digs. Paige Newvine had four aces and Lexa Magnuson dominated the net with 14 kills and four blocks on the night.
In junior varsity action the Lady Chargers again swept Wawasee, this time in two games 25-8 and 25-16.
The loss drops Wawasee to 17-12 on the season and 1-4 in NLC play. Phillips’ and the Lady Warriors will continue to build for sectionals when they welcome in a possible sectional opponent, the Lady Charger of West Noble. The match is set to start at 7:15 p.m. at Wawasee Gymnasium.