The Lady Tigers volleyball team got their season underway by travelling to Muskogee, OK this weekend to take part in Bacone College's "Skull Cracker" Invitational tournament. Over the course of the two day tournament Central played 4 matches, beginning on Friday afternoon against the tournament host.
The Lady Tigers got off to a slow start losing game 1, 10-25. They got things moving in positive direction in game two but fell short 18-25. CCC was unable to avoid the sweep, losing game 3 16-25. For the match the Lady Tigers had 20 kills, 30 digs, and 1 ace. CCC received impressive performances from freshman Angela Jamison who recorded 4 kills, and from sophomore Lauren Lauritzen who tallied 6 kills.
In the second match of the day, the Lady Tigers squared off against William Jewell College out of Liberty, MO. WJU, who is moving from the NAIA to the NCAA DII ranks next season, was an extremely formidable foe for the Lady Tigers. CCC was swept by WJU 7-25, 11-25, 11-25. Central recorded 11 kills, 30 digs, 1 ace, and 2 blocks. Sophomore Kelli Coates came off bench to have some key swings, recording 4 kills in 13 attempts.
In the first match on Saturday CCC matched up with the Lady Threshers of Bethel College. Despite playing better than the previous match, the Lady Tigers were left still searching for that first illusive win of the young season. The Lady Threshers completed the sweep of the Lady Tigers 25-17, 25-17. 25-14. Junior Alayna Howell had a nice game offensively for the Lady Tigers. For the match, she recorded 6 kills and 0 errors. As a team, CCC tallied 20 kills, 49 digs, 7 aces, and 2 blocks.
In the 4th and final match of the tournament, the Lady Tigers hit their stride and finished the tournament on a strong note. CCC lost a close game on 23-25, but rebounded to win the next 3 games 26-24, 25-23, and 25-21. It seemed like everyone on the floor was contributing in some fashion or another. CCC recorded 37 kills, 52, digs, 12 aces, and 3 blocks. Lauren Lauritzen had a big game for the Lady Tigers tallying 10 kills. From the setter position, senior Christin Tinius had 7 kills to go along with 29 assists. Defensively Lauritzen and junior Kendra Jackson were instrumental in keeping the Lady Tigers in the match. Both were all over the floor recording 20 and 19 digs respectively. Gaining the respect of the other teams, Christin Tinius was named to the All-Tournament Team.
The tournament was a great confidence builder for Mick Burrill's young team. Coach Burrill commented, "Our play improved with every match. We learned from our mistakes and made corrections. It was fun and exciting to watch the ladies grow as a team and really battle hard. It was a very good start overall for experience and progress. Everyone worked on their role and pretty much succeeded. Christin Tinius did a great job of setting and keeping everyone involved. It was a great team effort.
The Lady Tigers kick off MCAC play next Friday with two matches at Bellevue University.