WEST PLAINS, Mo. – The Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Volleyball team continues to struggle through its season after dropping a key Region 16 contest to Mineral Area College Wednesday night at the West Plains Civic Center.
The Grizzlies, 4-10, fell to the undefeated 10th-ranked Cardinals from Park Hills 20-25, 21-25, 14-25.
“I feel like we’re making progress with some things and not with others. Right now the most important things have very little to do with skill. We can put some things together at times, but the emphasis of how much pride and passion that has to be a part of what you are willing to give is lacking,” Grizzly Volleyball Head Coach Paula Wiedemann said.
Part of the problem continues to be in the way the players approach the game and the program, the coach said. “Expectations for our program are high. It doesn’t matter what team is in the gym, the expectations of getting better, doing the right thing, being respectful and working hard for all that you are given are always in play regardless of where we are,” Wiedemann said.
“It doesn’t matter how successful, what our record or what our ranking is, our players are asked to raise the bar throughout the season,” she added. “You never get to a place where you can quit or settle because things are better. You are always being asked to grow and, more often than not, change is a big part of growth. You have to show you are willing to make changes, not just say you are willing.
“Everyone says they want to win, but what you are looking for are those who will actually do something about it,” she continued. “If you don’t walk out of the gym thinking you need to make some changes, then something’s wrong. That is what this program has been built on, and we will continue to keep that standard.”
Despite the problems, there were some bright spots, statistically, from Wednesday’s game. Freshman outside attacker Karolina Noszczyk co-led the team in kills with five while hitting .285, and freshman outside attacker Koty Cooper led the team in attacking percentage with .333 and passing rating with 2.34.
“There was something about Karolina that we really liked, and now she’s starting to show what she can do,” Wiedemann said. “She brought energy and did what she needed to do for the team. She had a good game last night.
“Koty had a more efficient game last night,” Wiedemann added, pointing out she recorded four kills on 12 attempts with no errors. “Offensively, she had a better game, and passing is always important.”
Other statistical leaders were freshman right side attacker Tatjana Trifkovic, who had five kills, 2.5 blocks and 7.5 points earned; freshman setter Miriam Cardoner Soler, who had 14 assists; and freshman libero Kamryn Artale, who recorded 17 digs.
Wiedemann thanked Lazy W Pallets and owners Troy and Vikki Witte for sponsoring Wednesday’s game and supporting the Grizzlies.
COMPETING IN TEXAS TOURNAMENT
The team is on the road to Tyler, Texas, where they will compete in Holiday Inn-South Broadway Tyler Junior College Invitational Tournament this weekend. On Friday, they are slated to face Hill College, Hillsboro, Texas, at 10 a.m. and No. 16 Indian Hills Community College, Ottumwa, Iowa, at noon. Saturday, they will face Monroe College, New Rochelle, New York, at 9 a.m. and No. 5 Panola College, Carthage, Texas, at 1 p.m.
For more information about the Grizzly Volleyball team, visit www.wp.missouristate.edu/grizzly/vb/. For complete statistics of the Grizzlies’ games, visit http://www.njcaa.org/sports/wvball/2017-18/div1/teams/missouristateuniversitywestplains.
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