The Tuloso-Midway Cherokees volleyball team could not have asked for a better start to their season, sweeping the visiting Alice Lady Coyotes 3-0 (25-16, 25-8, 25-14) in the regular season opener Tuesday night. The Cherokees had a second match against IWA, but the results were not available at press time.
T-M jumped on the young Lady Coyotes early in the match and never looked back. The Cherokees controlled the game with their aggressive play and size advantage. Maddy Maltais led the way for T-M, racking up 19 kills in the match.
“I was really impressed with their intensity and their momentum and willingness to work hard from the beginning of the point to the end of the point,” Cherokees coach Jamie Gill said. “They just never quit.”
Lauren Turner had 23 assists, Katy Graves had four blocks, Analysa Gonzalez had 14 digs, and Shelby Stipp had 17 aces to each lead the team, respectively.
It was an ideal first game for the team and Gill, who is in her first season as head coach of the Cherokees. The third coach in as many seasons, Gill is trying to guide T-M to the playoffs after the Cherokees narrowly missed out last year.
However, there is a dilemma for Gill – sort of. So many of her players impressed during the match that she must now choose how to manage them all.
“I can see that I’m going to have a problem of not being able to figure out who to play, because they’re all doing their job,” Gill said. “They’re all winning points, they’re all serving aces, they’re all getting blocks, they’re all getting kills, they’re all getting digs. For them to come out and have a performance like that first match of the season, I couldn’t be happier.
“…So far, everyone has risen to the occasion. I’m happy to be in the predicament I’m in.”