Medical Lake may have dropped its first two matches of the Northeast A League season but new head coach Amanda Higgins is pulling some small victories out of their 0-2 start.
The Cardinals (0-2 NEA, 2-4 all games) visited Newport last Tuesday, falling 3-1 by scores of 24-26, 25-20, 8-25, 21-25. Thursday Medical Lake dropped their home opener 3-0 against Riverside, and Higgins’ former coach, Debbie Spray, 25-18, 25-21, 25-17.
“We have played pretty well,” Higgins said. “Our passing is fantastic, we are just not capitalizing on our good passing by putting the ball way.”
At Newport (1-1) the Cardinals were tied at one set each before the Grizzlies scored a convincing 25-8 win in the third game. That seemed to set the tone for the rest of the night.
“The scores were very close but we had a little trouble with the third game finding our grove,” Higgins said.
Cami Tinsler led the team with nine digs, Sydney Kelly had a team-high seven assists while Cheyenne Wollitz and Cassidy Hagel topped the team with four kills each. Kelly had a pair of aces.
Riverside (2-0) featured Spray’s daughter, Sydney, who paced the Rams with 13 kills. Besides facing the early NEA co-leaders, this contest had significant emotion attached. “This was a very exciting game for me as I was coaching my old high school coach Debbie Spray,” Higgins said.
“I thought we shut down Riverside’s power house outside hitter Sydney Spray pretty good,” Higgins said. “We just made some mistakes that we couldn’t overcome.”
Kelly led all players with 18 assists and Hailey Cheevers 12 kills.
Following a match at Lakeside this past Tuesday, Medical Lake is home tonight (Sept. 19) versus Chewelah at 6:30 p.m. and on the road at Kettle Falls next Tuesday.
Paul Delaney can be reached at email@example.com.