Volleyball teams get early test

Published 8:52 am Thursday, August 21, 2008

Four area volleyball teams got the chance to work on game situations Wednesday at United South Central in a five-team scrimmage.

Albert Lea, Alden-Conger, Glenville-Emmons, Maple River and United South Central all took part in the scrimmage, which took place for the second year.

“It’s really nice because it gives us an opportunity to do a glorified practice where it’s more like a game situation but you can still teach something,” said Tigers head coach Lisa Deyak.

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The regular season opens up next week for the teams and the scrimmage allowed each team to get a different look at varying styles of play.

The Wolverines open the regular season Monday and face one of the state’s best teams, Mable-Canton, right out of the chute. For Glenville-Emmons head coach Lisa Ziebell the scrimmage was an important step to preparing for such a test.

“I think it is a very good setup,” Ziebell said. “You get to see different offenses, different hitters, you can’t ask for a better way to end two weeks of practice.”

Ziebell has implemented some new changes for her squad this year as she deals with the loss of a couple of new seniors, and the scrimmage gave her a chance to see how her team is responding to the shift.

“It’s a different rotation we’re doing this year and I’m trying to specialize more in the front row and the back row and the kids aren’t used to that,” Ziebell said. “That’s why today is nice, I can stop things.”

Each team played each other twice during the scrimmage, which started at 8:30 a.m.

For Deyak, she got an opportunity to evaluate her team. Albert Lea is searching for the right combination of players this season as it has a cast of talented players, but much of the team is young and hasn’t played much at the varsity level.

“We do have a lot of height and that is to our advantage. However our experience doesn’t all come from our height,” Deyak said. “We have a couple of experienced players who have height but a lot of our height comes from our younger players.”

The all-day scrimmage also allowed Deyak to take a look at her players in situations outside of practice.

“I’ve had kids in a lot of different positions and it’s nice to be able to see them in a competition situation versus practice to see how they react,” Deyak said. “Some kids perform really well in drills and in a game don’t perform too well. Some kids are the opposite. It’s nice to see how they respond in a game situation.”

Knights coach Melissa Wasmoen enters her second year as head coach and being able to examine the makeup of her team was something she liked about playing in the scrimmage.

“I like this because we see different types of teams,” Wasmoen said. “We see some different types of hits across the net which is good for us because we see that in our conference also. It’s just really good experience.”

Of course playing a variety of teams from each class can show a team its strengths and weakness.

“We’re struggling on serving,” Ziebell said. “We’re missing a lot but I knew that was going to happen. We’ve got a lot of work yet to get us to where I want us to be at.”