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The Winner Lady Warriors in action vs. Todd County!!
Kernit Grimshaw

Tested WINNER volleyball team hits the STRETCH RUN
Sep 28, 2017

By Rich Winter

It has been a whirlwind last ten days for Jamie Keiser and the Winner Lady Warrior volleyball team has played nine games. Since Sep 16, Winner has played nine matches, going 6-3 over the last nine. But, Keiser always likes to ramp up the schedule and the losses have been quality losses against good ball clubs. 


Sep. 16, Winner finished 2nd to Miller at Big Dakota, even taking a set from the Lady Rustlers: 23-25, 25-21 and 20-25. At the recently completed Tri-Valley tournament, Winner finished 4th with losses against quality teams in EPJ and Tea Area.


In that tournament Winner dropped an early set to Tri-Valley, but fought back and clobbered the Lady Mustangs 25-8 in the third set. 

In that last match against TEA AREA, these two teams battled with TEA AREA escaping with a 31-29 win in the third set. 


Visited with Coach Keiser a bit via email this week to check in and see what's up with the 11-5 Lady Warriors. 


Early in the season Winner dropped back-to-back games to Miller and Burke-South/Central....Asked Keiser about those two losses and how her team responded after those losses. 

JK - "We have improved quite a bit since those first 2 losses early.  We seem to gel more as a team and trust each other and trust that we will be in our spots.  Our defense has gotten better and we read what our opponent is doing and get to our spots defensively quicker.  I thought that we have been playing very well lately and played Miller very well in the Big Dakota.  We were in control and led the whole first set and let it slip away and didn’t finish.  We made crucial errors and in crunch time.  It was a learning loss and we need to play to win and not play to lose.  We need to have confidence and trust ourselves that we won’t make crucial mistakes at the end.  Then last week our setter went down with an injury.  We will be without her for another few weeks.  We took some steps backwards and struggled gelling on Saturday in the Eastern Classic Tournament on in Tri-Valley.  I thought we played a lot better last night against Todd County.  So, it is coming and our hitters are getting used to the sets and our new setter (Addy Root) is getting more confidence in herself."


Alexis Richey went over 1000 digs in her volleyball career. Asked Keiser to kind of put that in perspective. 

 JK - "Yes, Alexis Richey is only a junior and is the first girl I have coached to get 1,000 anything and the first girl in volleyball school history to get 1,000. And she has another year left!! Alexis is amazing at defense.  She reads the opponents side of the net and the ball very well and gets to everything.  She is a great leader and is very positive.  She is a competitor and hates to lose and gets disgusted in herself if she doesn’t get to a ball and she will make sure it won’t happen again.  She has been around volleyball since she has been little.  Her sister was the libro when she was in high school and was a big reason we got 2nd at state in 2013.  I knew when Alexis was young that she was going to be really good.


On the improvement of the Hitters: 

JK - "We have been really working on attacking in practice and do a lot of individual work with our hitters.  We have been working on finding the holes and making less hitting errors and getting on top of the ball and getting kills.  We have also been working on timing between our setters and hitters."


What does Winner need to work on: 

 We need to work on serve receive and also not giving the other team so many unearned points.  Those are the 2 biggest things that I see we need to improve on if we want to make it to the state tournament.  We work on serve receive every day in practice and I send the girls film so they can see what they did wrong, so they can fix it.  We are getting better with it, but it still needs to improve.

Who is looking TUFF on the JV squad:  

I have a few that have been working their butts off in practice and stepping up in jv.  One is Addy Root, a sophomore, and she is now our starting setting, since Gracie Littau is hurt.  Another one is Mackenzie Levi, a freshman, who is also a setter.  She goes to a lot of camps in the summer time and has really put a lot of hours into volleyball.  Ellie Brozik, an 8th grader, is a good, hard hitter.  She has come in quite a few times in varsity to play the front row when I need a kill or a blocker.  She has also put a lot of hours in the gym this past summer on volleyball.  Maggie LaCompte, a freshman, is our jv libro.  If someone is struggling in the back row, then I can put her in.    


Another good test on the horizon as Winner will play in a tournament in Chester on Oct. 7


Thanks COACH!!

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