MILLER CITY – Coming into this volleyball season, Miller City realized it had the potential to compete for the Putnam County League title.
For Miller City head coach Kari Wenzinger, it’s been all about keeping her team focused on the task at hand.
In Wednesday’s PCL clash with visiting Columbus Grove, Wenzinger’s squad showed it was definitely focused as it defeated Columbus Grove in straight sets, 25-13, 25-23, 25-15.
Columbus Grove did not claim its first lead of the night until the second set, when it took a 9-8 lead.
However, that lead by the Bulldogs proved to be short-lived as the Wildcats’ tall front line eventually took over and pulled out both the second and third sets.
With the win, Miller City improves to 6-2 overall and 1-0 in the PCL. Columbus Grove slips to 4-3 and 2-2 in league play.
“We’ve talked about the girls’ personality all year long,” Wenzinger said. “They’ve been so focused, because they know there’s a chance of winning the league title this year. We were very hyped up tonight. At the beginning of the year, it was like dead silence. So, we’re trying to find that middle ground of being hyped up and being in control at the same time.”
Miller City was both hyped up and in control against Columbus Grove.
The taller Miller City front line came at Columbus Grove at many different angles.
Sofie Van Wezel led Miller City with eight kills. Teammates Abi Teders (six kills) and Lexi Banks (four kills) also were very strong near the net.
“I told Sofie Van Wezel to just run and jump (because of her size advantage). We were also very scrappy on defense. So, we made it very difficult for them,” Wenzinger said.
Miller City set the tone in the first set, opening with a 4-0 run. The Wildcats’ largest lead was 13.
In the second set, the Bulldogs battled back after a slow start and took a 9-8 lead. Columbus Grove extended its advantage to 17-12, before Miller City regrouped and roared back for the 2-point win.
“There were a lot of errors to start,” Wenzinger said. “We were tipping, which Columbus Grove was picking up. So, we were talking about how we needed to hit, and hit it hard to keep them off balance. Our hitters started to make very smart
decisions. Our setter (Adrienne Kuhlman) made very smart decisions. … She’s very strong. Their (Columbus Grove) blockers had a hard time moving across the net.”
Becca Choi led Columbus Grove with seven kills. Teammate Meghan Blankemeyer added five kills.
“We were missing quite a few serves at the beginning and we were making some poor decisions,” Wenzinger said. “With our hitters, we’re just so overpowering; and that’s kind of hard to keep up sometimes.”