Not every game can you come ready to play from the get-go and that was the case for the Tri County volleyball team on Tuesday during their home bout with Wilber-Clatonia.
The one-win Wolverines came into the Trojans house and gave them a wake-up call with wins in the first and second set before Tri County stormed back behind the strong play of senior Madison Freese to win the contest in five sets (16-25, 24-26, 25-11, 25-20, 15-6).
Though the route wasn’t preferable to the victory, Tri County head coach Jamie Siems is always receptive of a win no matter the path of getting there.
“I can take the win in three, but we’ll take it in five. I knew we could do it. It’s just a matter of when we decided to do it,” she said.
Freese suggested her team’s focus was certainly lacking in the first two sets and it was just a matter of putting their best effort forth.
“I think we realized we were a better team than what we were playing and we can do better than that. We can beat them, we should beat them,” she said.
Tri County then flipped the momentum from that point forward after some perspective was given by head coach Jamie Siems between the second and third set.
“They have won one game people, what are we doing,” Siems said to her team. “I experimented with the lineup, so I started the first set different. I knew it was going to shake up our chemistry a little bit. It went okay, I thought I can bring them back in and it would be fine. It just took them a little bit to warm-up.”
Freese bared the weight of the comeback, recording a team-high 14 kills and a team-best .265 hitting percentage to go along with the stat. She also team high’s in digs (25), serve receptions (24), tied for the team lead in blocks (2), and was second on the team in aces (4).
The senior mentioned she was proud of her team’s willingness to fight back from such a deficit, but she knows for their long-term success they’ll need more contributors on a consistent basis to end the season where they want to be.
“I just think you can’t have one person do it all. You have to find somebody else to do it. There were a few girls that stepped up and showed that they can focus and can do it. They know how to win, we won the game, so I think that’s just something right now. We just need to have it the entire way.
“Once we get down, usually this happened last year too, we went down and kept going down. But I think this game really showed we can come back up and we’re a better team than we’re brought out to be. I think we can be respectable as a team,” Freese said.
Tri County’s comeback was largely mounted on minimizing serve receiving errors – something they did often in the first two sets – along with finding aces of their own. The Trojans tallied 15 service aces as a team, their second-highest total of the season. Krista Reynolds led the team in that department with five.
The match was Tri County’s first five-set win of the year and improved their record to 7-7 this season. Tri County has the rest of the week off before playing Sterling at home on Monday.