The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

September 1, 2013

Seeger defeats the rest at Covington Invite (impact headline)

The Commercial-News

---- — COVINGTON, Ind. — Seeger had 3-0 record to win the Covington Invitational volleyball tournament. The Patriots defeated Covington, South Vermillion and Georgetown-Ridge Farm with only the latter team taking so much as a game against them.

“We were excited and came out ready to play,” said first-year coach Katie Rice. “I didn’t have to tell them anything - they just came out and did it.”

The deciding match of the contest happened to be the first one of the day as Seeger faced the host team and came away with the victory 25-20 and 25-18 in the best of three.

Covington ended 2-1 for second place, but after that first match, Seeger controlled its own destiny.

“We had players diving all over the floor - like those two,” said Rice, pointing to Tori Munson and Katie Market. “Our setter, Courtney White, is in her first year on the varsity and she’s gotten much better already this year.”

One other strength for the Patriots was their ability to block at the net, especially by the duo of Hannah Gustus and Miranda Synesael.

“Those two had three blocks on one point alone,” said Rice. “We’re really getting everyone where they need to be and I’m looking forward to their getting better as the season goes on.”

Covington coach Jen Sutherlin said her team was “pretty evenly matched” with the teams in the Invitational. This was an important point in her evaluating her team, as their previous three matches had all been against larger 3A schools.

“We didn’t come out sharp this morning,” Sutherlin said about the match with Seeger. “I thought we’d had a morning practice - and we ate breakfast - but we just weren’t as ready to play as we should have been.”

Sutherlin said one thing that bothered her all day were the mental mistakes that her team made. She also discussed their numerous service errors, but those did not particularly bother her.

“We’ve got to pay attention to things mentally - we can’t keep doing the same things wrong,” she explained. “I’m okay with our serving because I’ve been trying to get our team to spot serve and that’s hard for some of them.”

Sutherlin continued, “I want them to be aggressive. I’d rather they make those kinds of service errors now so that later we can be comfortable with that kind of serving.”

Georgetown-Ridge Farm did not win a match in the tournament, going 0-3, but they were the only team to win a game against tournament champion Seeger.

They also were the only team who was in their first competitive match of the year. The other three squads had all played matches in the previous week.

“This was a good indicator of where we’re at,” said head coach Kim Fraser. “We learned what we could do well and what we need to do better.”

Fraser is upbeat about the team, saying that this is a young team, but for the first time, her freshman had game experience going into the season.

“Last year was the first year we had a junior high program at school, so we’ve got some kids that have an idea of what is expected of them,” she explained. “Maybe they don’t know a lot, but at least they have more of a start than our previous freshman classes.”

Fraser also said that the best thing that her team could do was play a lot of games.

“We need to play as much as we can because that’s how our young players will get better - they need experience,” she said. “When we play more, I’m sure we’ll continue to improve.”

South Vermillion finished in third place with a 1-3 record as they dropped contests with Covington and Seeger but defeated Georgetown-Ridge Farm.

Greg Flint is a freelance writer/photographer for the Commercial-News. He can be reached at