By TJ Millman
Despite losing 3-0 to visiting Saint Thomas More, the Milford Lady Bucs Volleyball team have a lot to feel good about. At this point, the Lady Bucs are sitting at 4-7, doubling their win total from last season with 4 more games to play still.
“One of the biggest improvements for us this season has to be our team chemistry. Our girls have made those connections and friendships that really help when you’re out there. We have our combinations for our setters and our hitters, and it really helps when your setters and hitters have a positive relationship. A positive attitude and a positive environment can really go such a long way in team sports,” Milford Head Coach Heather Motter said.
Milford lost game one handily, getting out scored 25-11, but in game two they finally seemed to get things going. After falling behind 11-7, the Lady Bucs battled to a 15-14 lead off of a few strong serves from sophomore McKayla Ryan. Saint Thomas More took a timeout and then responded with a surge of their own, taking a 19-18 lead. The Lady Ravens held on to the lead the rest of the way, winning game two by a score of 25-21.
Game three was a lot of the same for both teams. Milford fell behind early and then fought back to a 10-10 tie. The Lady Ravens scored 5 straight, and Milford took a timeout trailing 15-10. Four quick points from Milford led to a Saint Thomas More timeout, and then the Ravens answered with a 6 point run. Milford scored 4 straight, bringing it to 21-18, and then the Lady Ravens scored 4 straight to end the game 25-18.
“Those runs happen. Sometimes you get a good server back there, and it can put your team in a rut. They can run 5 or 6 at a time like that, so it’s really about getting your defense right and cutting those runs off early,” Motter said.
Motter also made quite a few defensive switches throughout the game, doing whatever she good to answer the Lady Ravens’ attack.
“Sometimes you just need to change things up and get everyone out there to make a play. Taylor (Wessel) goes in there as our defensive specialist, so she’s in there when we need her, which is a lot of the time. She’s big on getting those digs for us. Also, it was senior night, so I was trying to balance getting all of my seniors in there while still making sure that we had our best lineups out there. Everyone on this team has a position that they play, and a position that they excel at, and I just make sure to put them in the right places to succeed,” Motter said.
One thing that stood out on senior night was the sheer amount of seniors on the team. Milford has 6 seniors this season, and Motter loves what she has seen from them this season.
“I’ve only had the pleasure of coaching these girls for two seasons, but they’ve been playing together for four now. Watching them all grow and come together as a team has been great, and it’s going to be sad when I have to say goodbye. Thankfully we still have 4 games before I have to do that,” Motter said.
The Lady Bucs get back into action Tuesday, October 16 at Sussex Central. The game is set to start at 5:30 PM.
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