The Thomas More-Prep Marian volleyball team tinkered with a few things during Tuesday’s home triangular, and coach Natausha Dreher was impressed with the results.
TMP pushed its winning streak to seven straight matches, improving to 15-2 on the season. The Monarchs earned a 25-9, 25-20 win over Hoxie, then took a 25-15, 25-11 victory over Plainville at Al Billinger Fieldhouse.
"The first match we passed very, very well," Dreher said. "I was very happy with the way we serve received. Early on in the first set we were serve receiving a 2-4, which we always try to run about a 2-3, so I was impressed with that.
"We put in some faster offense this week, really trying to speed that up, and they really challenged themselves to run that today, which can be very uncomfortable, make your self a little vulnerable. But they were open to do that so I was proud of them."
The Monarchs were in control for most of both matches. TMP got off to a slow start in the second set, but found its groove after Hoxie took a 10-6 lead, with TMP scoring the next four points and taking control late to close out the match.
"I think they had a little bit of a moment of just stepping back and thinking that the game was going to come to them instead of them going out and earning their points," Dreher said. "They worked through that and I’m proud of them for that."
TMP junior hitter Emilee Lane helped put an exclamation mark on a strong match against Plainville, putting down several spikes with authority late in the second set.
"Those are really exciting plays," Dreher said. "We talk often about how it’s the extra effort on the ball that really creates some of those offensive plays. And the defensive plays, when you have somebody that makes a phenomenal save, that’s really going to feed you and feed your energy.
"Obviously we like it, every girl, when they get those awesome kills. I think that our setters are just really spreading the net well, and Emilee’s playing really well, learning some things. Every single one of our hitters, I’m really proud of how they’re all developing."
Dreher said it was a good all-around team effort.
"Everybody had a good match," Dreher said. "Jadyn Gottschalk is really expanding on her game right now. I love seeing that, and I love seeing her confidence grow. And Kali Hagans as well — at one point when I was looking at her stats — she was hitting like a .600. We were putting the ball in her hands and she was just taking care of it.
"The same thing with Kassidi Yost, we’re just tweaking different things and asking them to run different things in their offense and they’re really performing, and it’s exciting to watch them grow. That’s one of the best things about coaching this group is they have a hunger to learn."
The Monarchs will play in the Wamego tournament on Saturday.