Vinson maintains hope for Mid-Con season

Marvin Holman

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The Westerwind volleyball team traveled to Chicago Tuesday to take on Loyola University and, unlike last Friday’s match against another Chicago team, Chicago State University, lost in three sets. In the first game, the ‘Winds only collected four kills out of 19 attempts to muster a -.105 hitting percentage in a 15-0 loss to the Ramblers.

“You don’t win many volleyball games hitting negative .100s, which we did,” head coach Jolene Vinson said. “Loyola just took control right away, but we rebounded very well.” The second game was much different, as the ‘Winds improved their percentage to .306 and had a 13-12 lead before losing, 15-13.

“A problem all year was that we haven’t been able to finish, but I was proud of our effort,” Vinson said. “We stepped it up defensively, started blocking their hitters and really frustrated them and took them out of their game.”

The Ramblers finished off the ‘Winds in the next game, winning 15-6. “In game three, we didn’t play as well as we needed to play. We hit only .111 in the game and we said after the game that we need to hit.

If you hit at least .250, then the chances of winning are going to be much higher,” Vinson said.

Even with the loss, Vinson was pleased with the serving game. “Particularly in game two, we took them out of their offense and at one time, we were running their offense,” Vinson said.

“That’s why we could create more opportunities to hit the ball and get a few more swings.”

Sophomore outside hitter Amy Lenz had a team-high 10 kills; junior middle blocker Jennifer Dockemeyer had eight; freshman middle blocker Jennifer Brandt had five; senior outside hitter Kandace Kessel had four; and sophomore setter Vicki King had 23 assists.

Brandt, Lenz, King and Kessel each had six digs, and freshman middle blocker Shawna Sprinkle collected two blocks. “We had a nice performance by Amy. In the last few matches, she has been playing very consistent,” Vinson said.

“Jen produced for us again; she’s a player that would’ve wanted four more kills instead of four errors, but she was solid and she’s someone that we utilize within our offense. “Jennifer Brandt had a nice match for us; she had no errors and hit .500 for us. She’s a nice player and we need consistency from her, (freshman outside hitter) Sallie Bowles and Kandace Kessel,” Vinson added.

This weekend, the ‘Winds return to Western Hall with Mid-Continent Conference matches against Oral Roberts University tonight at 7 p.m. and UMKC Saturday at 2 p.m.

These games are very crucial for us. I feel that Oral Roberts are a very good team. Loyola and Western Michigan University play just like them,” Vinson said.

“We need to play some good volleyball from the start of the match to the end and that’s one thing that we’ve had a hard time doing. “UMKC is a team almost comparable to us. It’s going to be one of those situations where the team that plays the best will win,” Vinson added.

“We need to go out and play hard–nosed volleyball. We’re going to make mistakes but we would like to cut down on them.