Volleyball: No passing makes for long tripIf the Farmington volleyball team can take one positive away from Thursday night’s conference-opening loss, it’s that there’s a good chance it won’t have to play against Hutchinson again for a while.
By: Matt Steichen, The Farmington Independent
If the Farmington volleyball team can take one positive away from Thursday night’s conference-opening loss, it’s that there’s a good chance it won’t have to play against Hutchinson again for a while.
The Tigers were swept 25-19, 25-9, 25-16 under the low ceiling of the Hutchinson gym. It was their fifth straight loss to the Tigers dating back to 2005 and the third time they have gone down via sweep.
“It’s a difficult gym. It’s a nice environment with a lot of energy, but we haven’t come out on the winning side the last few years,” Farmington coach Mike Woody said. “It’s always been a very good, competitive game, which is good, and we’ve liked playing each other, but it’s difficult going out there on a long road trip and playing under that low ceiling.”
Farmington struggled with its passing and that led to season-worst production from attackers Danielle Dombeck and Katie Habeck, who each finished with six kills. Erin Wynings added four kills.
“We just didn’t pass well. The rest of the game, our blocking, was good and that was why games one and three were close. We just didn’t pass well and that hurt our offense. That allowed them to sit back and tee off on us.”
Hutchinson, ranked 8th in Class 2A, really teed off in Game 2 thanks to a 12-point service run.
“We basically got stuck against one good server and one bad location in our rotation and we never recovered,” Woody said. “A couple breaks didn’t go our way, but sometimes breaks don’t go your way and you have to get over them. You’ve gotta play the next point whether it’s officiating, dumb luck or whatever.”
Dombeck led the Tiger defense with 12 digs and Alexia Rains and Elizabeth Pappenfus each added nine. Rachel Sand had 10 assists and Samme Skokan added seven.
The Tiger passing attack was much more efficient two days earlier in a 25-13, 25-17, 25-18 sweep of Austin at Tiger Gym.
Dombeck took advantage by slamming 12 kills, Lauren McHenry was right behind with 10 and Habeck had eight kills and three blocks. Jordan Bridges once again provided a strong presence in the middle with nine blocks of her own.
“Something we’ve done very well and improved on from our first matches has been our defense,” Woody said. “We’ve made it very difficult for teams to put balls away and what made us successful was that we passed well back into our offense and get Habeck the ball. That good middle opens things up for our outside. We were able to do anything we wanted against Austin.”
Pappenfus led the defense with 16 digs against the Packers. Rains had 14 and Dombeck added 10.
Sand lofted up 17 set assists and Skokan was right behind with 14.
The Tigers played another Big 9 team Tuesday night when they traveled down I-35 to take on Albert Lea. They will be back home tonight against Missota Conference rival Red Wing, and this weekend five ranked teams will come to the new high school for the annual Farmington Tournament.