Trojets take step forward in 5-set loss

BLAIRSBURG – After a rough opening weekend at the Clarion-Goldfield tournament, Northeast Hamilton showed head volleyball coach Kacey Pruismann it can be competitive following a solid home debut Tuesday night.

Ultimately, the Trojets remained winless. Still, there were plenty of positives that Pruismann says the team can use as building blocks as it gets set to open up Iowa Star Conference play next week.

“It was so much better than when we played in the Clarion tournament,” Pruismann said following the Trojets 3-2 loss to Madrid. “We communicated a lot more effectively and it gives me a lot of hope going forward.”

NEH (0-6) dropped five consecutive matches at the tournament, all by 2-0 tallies. But they answered the challenge with a first set win over Madrid (2-1) before the Tigers gained the upper hand and went on to win 23-25, 25-16, 25-18, 10-25, 15-10.

A better grasp on serve receive and NEH could have won, Pruismann said.

“The games we lost were about the serve receive,” she said. “If we would have done a little bit better on the serve receive end of things, I don’t think it would have been back and forth quite as much. We had a 19-4 run in that fourth set when we did a much better job, but we lost the momentum in the fifth game when they came out strong with their serves.”

Six Trojets delivered kills at net, led by Lillian Chamness with seven, Devyn Van Kooten with five and Brooke Evans with four.

Tiffany Werner-Moore did a little bit of everything in the five setter with three kills, 10 digs and 10 assists. Libero MaKayla Tapper collected eight digs, as did Chamness.

NEH hammered away at the service line with 25 aces. Cassidy Nerland piled up nine, Chamness had five, Leah Meyer finished with four, and Van Kooten and Evans delivered three a piece.