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Trojans test Tigers, fall in five sets

September 4, 2019
By Allison Graham - Sports Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

"They're so close," said new head coach Samantha Cantonwine following the STC Trojans season opener on Thursday. South Tama travelled to Grinnell to take on the Tigers on Thursday, August 29. It was quite the battle between the two rivals but ultimately Grinnell came out ahead 3-2.

The Trojans efforts towards improvement showed as they won their first set 25-17. Last season the Tigers won the evening 3-1. The Trojans did not win a single first set during a non-tournament contest in 2018. Grinnell won the second 25-20. The Trojans fought to win the third set 25-23. The fourth set was a nail bitter as the Tigers came out ahead 26-24 and ended up winning the night after taking the fifth set, 15-12.

It's not the way Cantonwine wanted the night to end, she was really hungry for the win over Grinnell but for her debut as a head coach there is a lot she has to look forward to with the group she has.

Article Photos

The South Tama Trojans celebrate after winning the first set over Grinnell during their season opener on Thursday, August 29 at Grinnell High School.
Chronicle Photo/Allison Graham

"It feels good. The girls played awesome. They were always on fire. They came back from 3-5 points all the time and that's super hard in volleyball. It's so great when you don't have to pump them up, they're already pumped up. It was a great starting point for us," said Cantonwine.

"I learned to keep fighting no matter what and I think these girls proved they can do that. I also learned that just watching the little things. I think right now we have the fundamentals but it's the little things that will keep us from success. We are going to watch film tomorrow and work on those little things," said Cantonwine.

The Trojans graduated eight seniors last season so there are some new faces on the court including freshman Kortney Babinat. Senior Katie Riha has returned to the court after suffering an injury in the first game of last season. Also seeing lots of time on the court in Thursday's contest were Morgan Haughey, Bri Riha, Morgan Woosley, Gwen Upah, Ashlynn Ellenbecker, Gracie Vest, Laurel Upah, Lauren Veit and Clarissa Rosenberger. Rosenberger helped lead the team to the victory they saw in the first set by serving for 12 straight points.

The Trojans were noticeably without the white colored jersey of the libero at Thursday's contest. Cantonwine takes the role very seriously and is looking for the perfect person to don the jersey.

"To me that jersey is something that is earned. You have to work hard for it, not saying that any of the girls don't but I really want to take my time in making that decision because as soon as you put on that jersey you are a target for the other team's. So I wanted to have the first few games to see who works hard, who's my best passer. I'm going to use this game tonight to make my decision," said Cantonwine.

The Trojans will travel to Clear Creek-Amana on September 5 for their first WaMaC west competition of the season.



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