September 8, 2004 at 7:25 p.m.
Chisago Lakes 0
Where the Wildcats are and where they’re going to be are two different places.
That’s not just a statement, that’s a fact, as the ‘Cats continue to introduce most of their line-up to the varsity volleyball landscape.
Last Tuesday versus Centennial in their first game of the season, most of the team got an education on what varsity is like, and what it’s going to be like the rest of the way. The Cougars jumped on Chisago early and often, defeating them 3-0.
Centennial began with a bang, dismantling the ‘Cats in game one. That set the tone of the match as the Cougars never let off the gas, never giving the young Wildcats a chance to breath. Even though the ‘Cats got stronger as the match went on, Centennial never lost control of the drivers seat.
“We had glimpses where we were just awesome but we couldn’t keep it up,” said Nicole DeVries, Chisago Lakes head volleyball coach. “We’ll score the first six points or something like that, but then we’ll lose some. This year, this team is just going to have to work hard for every point, they’re going to have to scrap and fight for everything they get because we’re so inexperienced.”
Despite the loss, several players stood out. DeVries singled out seventh-grader Courtney Fautsch, sophomore Morgan Baumgard and senior Katie Reed.
“Morgan can pass, Courtney showed that she can play at that level,” replied DeVries. “Katie passed really well like she always does. We just need for everyone to put it all together.”
Chisago Lakes 0
Centennial 25, Chisago Lakes 6
Centennial 25, Chisago Lakes 15
Centennial 25, Chisago Lakes 12
Duluth Central 3
Chisago Lakes 1
After their loss to Centennial, the next day at practice they were better. Then last Thursday versus Duluth Central, they were even better. It still wasn’t enough to defeat Duluth Central, but progress is being made.
“We really are getting better all the time. I’m telling the girls that I’m going to work them harder than any team out there and that they are going to see the results,” stated DeVries. “So far, we’ve seen the results. We were better at practice last Wednesday, and against Duluth, we were better against them than we were at practice. We’re just getting better all the time.”
How good can they be? If the second game of last Thursday’s match is any indication, the possibilities are endless. Down one game to none, the ‘Cats coasted through the second game by putting it all together. It was exactly what DeVries had been waiting for.
“That second game, we just played super. I see glimpses of what we can do, but we just can’t carry that over,” said DeVries. “We were flat that first game which is something I can understand because of the long bus ride, but then we just couldn’t keep it going after game two.”
At least not enough to keep Central from taking the final two games, giving them the match 3-1. The loss dropped the Wildcats season record to 0-2.
On the bright side, if DeVries is looking for games to get her kids some experience, this week, she’ll have all the action she can handle. Following matches with St. Francis and Princeton, Chisago hosts the Chisago Lakes Invite on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m.
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