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STC Trojans winless in WaMaC pool play

October 12, 2018
By Thorn Compton - Times-Republican , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

TIFFIN - The South Tama County volleyball team had a chance to salvage a win in the pool play of the WaMaC Conference Tournament on Monday when it faced Central DeWitt in the nightcap.

The Trojans fell to Clear Creek-Amana (21-17, 21-11) and Class 4A No. 9 West Delaware (21-7, 21-17) earlier in the day, but the matchup against the Sabres proved to be their most winnable of pool No. 3.

STC was sluggish to start out, leading to an easy 21-10 win for Central DeWitt in the first set, but the Trojans came back roaring in the second to win, 21-18, and force a third set.

Article Photos

STC’s Clarissa Rosenberger with a dig on Tuesday, October 9 at WaMaC Pool Play in Tiffin.
News?Herald Photo/Allison Graham

In that deciding third set, South Tama started strong like it finished in the second, but eventually the Sabres came back and took the game, 15-8, dropping the Trojans to 0-3 on the day.

STC head coach Amy Dolash said her girls might not have come away with a victory, but they showed some grit in the comebacks against both Central DeWitt and West Delaware.

"It was one of those things where we always talking about battling back," Dolash said. "Against West Delaware was one of them, we were down 17-9 [in the second set] at that time but got the sideout and just served aggressive. That's something we've been focusing on, really getting more aggressive with our serves to get the other team out of system, which was important with West Delaware because they are such a dynamic offense."

The catalyst of that second-set comeback against the Hawks was the serving by junior Katie Campbell, as she served for the entire eight-point run that pulled South Tama even with West Delaware in the second.

"Katie Campbell went back there and served like she hasn't served the whole year," Dolash said. "She's a very consistent serve but man she whipped out some aggressive serves there and it really helped get us back in. Suddenly everyone's spirits and emotions start going right with it, that's awesome to see."

In the comeback against the Sabres, it was the tough block by essentially the entire front line that led to a second-set victory. Jaelin Berger finished with five total blocks for the Trojans (11-28) against Central DeWitt, while Stacey Slaven had four and Morgan Woosley had three.

"Jaelin, Stacey, Madi (Rohach), Abbie (Morgan), they have the height and they have the ups to go with it," Dolash said. "The rest of our girls just have the desire, they might not quite have the height but they can get up up over the net and get their hands on things. We've really been focusing on getting touches, especially playing against teams like West Delaware that go so fast and you're not sure which way to turn. It's paying attention to the cues, paying attention to how the pass was and the setters hands, not necessarily always relying on watching the ball."

While they showed an ability to make comebacks, Dolash said her girls have to find a way to not dig themselves a hole to climb out of, especially with the regional tournament fast approaching.

"We talk about the roller coaster ride, sometimes our dips down on that hill are a little low for us and we have to minimize those dips and keep it more consistent, then the rest of our game will show that good results," Dolash said. "It's not skill, they've got the skill, it's between their ears. Focusing on that mental game and their mindset, that helps them through the rest of their life too and not just volleyball. If you can figure some of those things out now then they will be much more successful as they get into adulthood."

Still, facing teams the quality of West Delaware - who won pool No. 3 by going 3-0 on the day - is a good thing for STC, Dolash said.

"We got to play against Pella this year, we went up to Charles City and played against Janesville and Tripoli and all these teams that typically make it to state and are darn good programs," she said. "I love playing teams like that because not only do we build confidence by getting better and seeing we can hang with these guys, but we figure out, 'hey, when our game is on it's on,' and we are just as good."

The Trojans now move over to the consolation bracket of the WaMaC tournament along with Central DeWitt, who went 1-2 with losses to the Hawks and Clear Creek-Amana. Class 3A No. 12 Mount Vernon won pool No. 2, which also played in Tiffin, by beating 4A No. 3 Independence in the final match.

Mount Vernon and Independence join West Delaware and the Clippers in the championship bracket, while Williamsburg goes to the consolation along with South Tama and Central DeWitt.

With just that bracket left before facing Williamsburg in the first round of the Class 3A Region 6 tournament - a team they were swept by earlier in the season - Dolash said this will be a good tune-up for her girls to work out their kinks.

"The next two days we are going to work on some of the things we wanted to here, between passing and really moving low and being consistent with that. Especially after we got to see some teams doing that well, getting them to do the same thing," she said. Then it's just working on some different attacks, by this point in the season you want to work on some things to add to your attacks so you're not quite as predictable."

South Tama County will play in the consolation bracket of the WaMaC Tournament on Thursday in Mount Vernon at Mount Vernon Middle School.

WaMaC Conference Tournament Pool Play

Pool 1

Independence def. Williamsburg, 21-10, 15-21, 15-9

Mount Vernon def. Williamsburg, 21-12, 21-7

Mount Vernon def. Independence, 21-18, 16-21, 15-11

Pool 2

West Delaware def. Central DeWitt, 21-16, 21-15

Clear Creek Amana def. South Tama County, 21-7, 21-17

West Delaware def. South Tama County, 21-7, 21-17

Clear Creek Amana def. Central DeWitt, 14-21, 21-17, 15-11

West Delaware def. Clear Creek Amana, 21-11, 21-14

Central DeWitt def. South Tama County, 21-10, 18-21, 15-8



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