Evart volleyball sees improvement against McBain NMC

DOUBLE TEAM: Evart's Kirsten Parsons and Jessica Tea attempt to block a shot by McBain Northern Michigan Christian on Tuesday. (Herald Review photo/Martin Slagter)
DOUBLE TEAM: Evart’s Kirsten Parsons and Jessica Tea attempt to block a shot by McBain Northern Michigan Christian on Tuesday. (Herald Review photo/Martin Slagter)

EVART — Jayme Maddern is beginning to catch glimpses of what her Evart volleyball team can be when they’re clicking on all cylinders.

Despite dropping a match 3-1 to McBain Northern Michigan Christian on Tuesday, the Wildcats’ coach saw some encouraging things from her team, including three solid games to start play on Tuesday.

“The girls finally started playing as a team and communicating better,” she said. “We’ve got our new rotation down, so they’re starting to get comfortable with that and starting to click.”

The Comets won the match 25-23, 21-25, 25-19, 25-15, using their serving to gain early leads in the final two games. It was in the first couple of games, however, that Evart began to display the ability to compete up front, blocking attacks and getting kills at the net.

After falling behind 12-7 in the first game, Evart clawed its way back. A kill by Saige Nabozny gave the Wildcats a 21-20 lead late, but the Comets were able to score five of the game’s next seven points to secure the win.

In the second game, the two teams went back and forth, with Evart building a 21-18 lead following a tip by Kirsten Parsons.

The play up front played a big role in picking up a win, Maddern said.

“They’ve really come into their own hitting the ball, especially our upperclassmen like Saige (Nabozny), Kirsten (Parsons) and Jessica (Tea) were getting up and doing a good job,” she said.

The Wildcats got in trouble in the final two games of the match, struggling with their own serves and returning the serves of McBain Northern Michigan Christian.

The Comets got off to a 6-0 start in game three, coming up with a number of aces. An ace by Evart’s Alexus Wimmer cut the lead to 11-8. The Comets’ Jamie Oudman provided a block that built the lead back up to 15-9, putting the Wildcats in a hole they couldn’t recover from.

“We struggled with our serves (Tuesday), that killed us,” Maddern said. “We’re going to work on that over the next couple of weeks, because I think we can be a lot better as a team if we just get our serves in.”

Parsons said she thought the team’s front row did a good job communicating. The entire team still needs to work on communication, however, if the Wildcats are going to continue to improve.

“Saige Nabozny, Lydia Wetters and I click really well in the front row,” she said. “When we’re hitting we just keep rolling. We’re really confident.

“We can be competitive if we talk more and keep our heads in the game,” she added. “Right now, if we lose a point, everybody gets down on themselves and we don’t get back up. So we need to work on staying up and not let that bring us down.”

The Wildcats were led by Nabozny with six kills, while Parsons added four. Parsons also led the team with nine blocks. McBain NMC got eight kills from Brittany Hoekwater, while Lauren Eisenga led the Comets with 15 assists.