WARSAW- Tiger volleyball got back into full swing on Wednesday night as Warsaw welcomed in the Panthers of Fort Wayne Snider to the Tiger Den.
Last season the Tigers swept Snider to open their schedule and decided that doing the same would be a nice start to this year as well. Once again Warsaw brought some of its best volleyball to the court on opening night, sweeping Snider 3-0.
Though it was a three game sweep for the Tigers, a tall Snider squad certainly did not give anything away, at least not in the first two games.
Both teams battled a close, back and forth opening game that did not have many runs and included several nice volleys. Snider opened the game with four straight points thanks to some quality serving from Brynne Skarie but Warsaw would come out on top 25-21. Skarie, Snider’s setter, led her team with 15 assists.
The play became more crisp and flowed better in the second game as players on both sides of the net started to settle into a rhythm but despite even the most raucous of celebrations by Snider players on the court and bench, Warsaw was not phased by its opponents energy, or height, winning once more, 25-21.
Snider may have been better off saving some of that energy for the third game as Warsaw jumped out to a big lead early before finally closing out the Panthers 25-13 to complete the sweep.
The win was exciting for the players and a relief for assistant coach Chandra Hepler who will be filling in for head coach Mike Howard until Howard recovers from a minor surgery he had this week.
“Once we got rid of those jitters I think our tempo picked up and we played really well,” stated Hepler. “Everyone is going to have those first game jitters but we’re playing at home and it’s our advantage because we’re playing in the Tiger Den.
“I think our tempo was different in the first game then in the second or even third. We had Katie (Voelz) start out setting the first game and I think the tempo was just a different feel for the girls. Second and third game there was a faster speed and I think endurance was a big advantage for us. I think Snider just got tired.”
Warsaw was able to pull away in the third game thanks to better movement on the court. Snider brought a lot of talent to the court but in the end experienced play from Warsaw’s only seniors Katie Voelz and Celia Heckert was too much for the Panthers to handle.
Voelz and Heckert combined for 18 kills and 17 digs and 15 kills. Peyton Adamiec led the team with 20 digs while Cassie Hoag led the team with 19 assists and added three blocks.
The nice start from Warsaw will hopefully be carried over into the Tigers next contest as they travel south to the Lafayette Jefferson Invitational for four matches this Saturday starting at 9 a.m.
Warsaw won the junior varsity match 2-1 over Snider. The freshman squad also completed a 2-0 sweep on Wednesday night.