The North Dakota State College of Science volleyball team hit the win column Wednesday, Sept. 1 on their home court. The Wildcats swept Dawson Community College by scores of 25-20, 25-19 and 25-19 in a promising performance following two losses to start the season.
“Our first match of the season, overall, there was a lot of nerves,” NDSCS Head Coach Jane Passa said. “The second match, our passing was better for sure, we just needed to put balls away. We hit 0 percent. Hitting percentage in volleyball is like batting average, you want to be in the 200 to 300 range and we were at zero. You can’t win games doing that.”
Improvement was evident in Wednesday’s sweep, as the Wildcats remain a slow, steady work in progress.
“Yesterday was a little better, but we still have to be able to put away the first ball or at least tend to put them in the court instead of terminating them,” Passa said. “This is a team that’s maybe not as confident as I’ve had in the past. Hopefully, as the season goes on, they’ll begin to feel better about themselves.”
NDSCS will need to keep their chins up this weekend as they head to Iowa Central for the Triton Volleyball Invitational. They will face the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams in the nation.
“They’re getting baptism by fire right away,” Passa said. “I’m hoping that’s going to prepare them for the end of the year when we really need to be at our best level. We need to find the right fit for our team and find the right positions where we’re going to have the most success. We might have to sacrifice some wins for that. Hopefully we can stay strong and realize that the goal is to be the best at the end of the season, not right now.”
Mixing up different looks benefited the ‘Cats in their sweep of Dawson, and Passa plans to mark up the drawing board quite often with different formulas.
“We ran a six-two for the first home game. We really mixed it up,” Passa said. “We haven’t played many games, and we don’t know what everybody can do. That’s why we’re going (to Iowa) this weekend. We’re going to change some things up.”
Bailee Brommenschenkel and Jalen Ennen led NDSCS with eight and seven kills, respectively. Katie Krieger recorded 13 digs. Morgan Vosberg’s 20 assists paced the team, while Ellie Seidler chipped in seven.
“I thought Jalen played well. She hit well, played good defense and was a good leader,” Passa said. “I think our libero, Katie Krieger, is always a ‘Steady Eddy.’ It’s good to have two sophomores that are able to help those freshmen out who may be a little more timid. Last year we had two strong leaders who are playing at the next level right now. Sometimes it’s hard to jump into the role of being that strong leader as opposed to a follower. That might just take us a little longer this year.”