Lady Hawks keep games competitive, but unable to close against Lobos and Knights

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by Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

On Friday, October 9, the Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks (3-4) volleyball team traveled to Lopez Island to take on the (5-1) Lobos. It was the second time these two teams have faced each other, with the previous being a 0-3 loss at home for Tulalip.

This time around the Lady Hawks had their full squad of players and have been playing very good team volleyball. The Lady Hawks were able to keep the score close in each game, countering each Lobos point with a point of their own. Surprisingly, two of the three games were played beyond the 25 point mark because neither team was able to take a two-point advantage. Unfortunately, even with the great effort being displayed by the Lady Hawks they would fall just short in both of those games.

The Lobos won the match 3-0 over the visiting team, but Tulalip gave them all they could handle and if only a couple points had gone differently they could have won the match.

On Tuesday, October 13, the Lady Hawks (3-5) again hit the road and traveled the short distance to Cascade Christian Reformed Church in Marysville to play the Arlington Highland Knights (4-4). It was also the second time these two teams had faced each other, with the previous being a very competitive 0-3 defeat at home for Tulalip.

 

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This match would have substantial repercussions on the Northwest 1B volleyball standings. Currently sitting in the #4 spot are the Knights and only one game behind them are the Lady Hawks at #5. With a win the Lady Hawks could have the inside track to being the #4 seed come playoff time, meaning they would host a home playoff game.

Prior to the game, coach Tina Brown spoke about the team’s mindset heading into this big matchup. “We’ve been working hard in practice and going over game film to have the girls see what areas of their game needs improvement. They agree communication is our number one area to focus on. Our communication has been the biggest factor in our wins and in our losses. If we focus on communicating and helping each other out, then this will be a great game. We have to communicate and trust each other.”

In the 1st game, everything that could go wrong for the Lady Hawks did go wrong. Early season struggles of hitting their serves in play was once again an issue. The Lady Hawks were giving away easy points to their opponent simply because they weren’t getting the ball over the net on their serves. As this continued to happen in the first game, the team really struggled to play together and they stopped communicating. The Knights went on to win the 1st game 25-13, in large part to the 7 unforced errors the Lady Hawks committed in their serving game.

In the 2nd game, the Lady Hawks cleaned up their service game and only committed 3 unforced errors. Getting the ball over the net got the girls engaged into the game and they communicated like they know how. Tying the game at 10-10 and then again at 20-20, the Lady Hawks were in good position to win the game. However, the Knights called timeout after the game was tied at 20-20 to talk things over. Their coach noticed the Tulalip front line players were moving way too close to the net, resulting in holes in the back line of the Tulalip defense. Out of their timeout, the Knights were able to capitalize on their coach’s advice and went on a 5-2 run to seal the game 25-22 by aiming for those holes in Tulalip’s back line.

In the 3rd game, the Lady Hawks started out hot and led by Adiya Jones serving four straight aces, took a 8-4 lead. The game was highly competitive and the Lady Hawks were playing their best ball of the match. After only giving up two points on bad serves, they were able to take a 23-18 lead.  For whatever reason though, the Lady Hawks tightened up only needing a couple points to win the game and they stopped communicating with each other. Going back to what their coach said prior to the game, if they don’t communicate and trust each then they won’t be able to pull out a victory. And that’s exactly what happened. The Lady Hawks blew their 23-18 lead and lost the game 25-27, resulting in a 0-3 match defeat.

Both matches of this road trip were winnable by the Lady Hawks if they could just learn to communicate effectively for an entire match, not just for minutes at a time, and close out the games they are leading. Now sitting at 3-6 on the season, the playoffs are still a realistic goal, but only if the Lady Hawks clean up their game.

Lady Hawks claim 1st home victory vs. Skykomish, 3-1

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by Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

On Tuesday, October 6, the Tulalip Lady Hawks (2-4) volleyball team hosted the Rockets (1-5) from Skykomish. The Francis J. Sheldon gymnasium was decorated with pink signs, pink balloons, and pink ribbons to recognize October as national Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

It was clear just by watching the two teams warm-up prior to their match that the Lady Hawks had a decisive advantage in skill and athleticism. All the Lady Hawks had to do was execute their game plan and not commit turnovers that result in points for their opponent.

The 1st game started out rough for the home team to say the least. They weren’t communicating, there was no hustle, and most of all they were scoring most of the points for their opponent by committing error after error. Coach Tina Brown called timeout when the Lady Hawks went down 9-10, but was unable to get her team going. The Lady Hawks were visually stunned after giving away the 1st game, 17-25, to the Rockets.

Before the start of the 2nd game, coach Tina told her team, “All we have to do out there is talk, that’s it. Just talk and we’ll win this match. If you don’t communicate with each other then you make it very difficult to win.”

The Lady Hawks took that 1st game loss personal, as they should have, and came out motivated and determined to make up for it in the 2nd game. Jumping out to a 10-3 point lead calmed the girls’ nerves and allowed them to settle in and just play their game. They would win the 2nd game 25-15, tying the match at one game apiece.

 

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In the 3rd game, #13 Jaylin Rivera kept the momentum going for her team by serving up four straight aces. With #12 Aliya Jones leading the way with her active voice and energy, she sparked the rest of her teammates to follow suit and hustle their way to a 25-13 win to claim the 3rd game.

The 4th game would be the easiest of them all for Lady Hawks, as the Rockets best player appeared to strain her hamstring and come out of the game. Leaving little competition for the Lady Hawks, they took the game 25-12 and the match 3-1. It was the first home win on the season for the Lady Hawks, and moved their overall record to 3-4 and only 1 game behind for 4th place in the division standings.

Lady Hawks volleyball season opener

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By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

On Tuesday, September 15, the Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks hosted the Lopez Island Lobos at the Francy Sheldon gymnasium. It was the first game of the 2015-2016 volleyball season and home opener for the Lady Hawks. Coming off a very disappointing season last year, that saw them win only one set and zero matches, the Lady Hawks were excited to start fresh.

Unfortunately, there were some behind the scenes issues with their previous coach, and for reasons unknown she was replaced last minute by Tulalip Heritage Athletic Director, Tina Brown. Coach Tina spent the last couple weeks with the Lady Hawks going over volleyball basics and focusing on conditioning.

In the 1st set the Lady Hawks would fall 16-25, followed shortly thereafter by a quick 2nd set 9-25. However, in the 3rd set the Lady Hawks showed signs of their dedication to teamwork as they fought and scraped for every point they could muster. After falling behind 7-13, the Lady Hawks rallied to take a 15-14 lead behind the serving of #10 Keryn Parks and #13 Jaylin Rivera. The Lopez Island Lobos wouldn’t be denied and went on to win the 3rd and final set 25-20.

 

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Losing the match 0-3 was a bummer, but captain #1 Myrna Redleaf was upbeat after the loss, saying “I thought we did really well compared to last year, especially going against our rivals from Lopez Island. I feel we did really well for our first match of the year. We have a lot of new girls playing this year, and we’re all still getting used to playing with each other and learning each other’s tendencies. We were really nervous in the first couple sets, but in the last set we relaxed and just had fun and our play was better.”

 

Myrna Redleaf, captain #1. Photo/Micheal Rios

Myrna Redleaf, captain #1.
Photo/Micheal Rios

 

Going forward, Myrna says the team will look to improve their communication most of all. The Lady Hawks take on Highland Christion on Friday, September 18. It’s a home game and starts at 5:00 p.m.

 

 

15-16 Heritage Volleyball  Roster