BISMARCK — Every coach wants its team to peak at just the right time. Ideally, that time is toward the end of the season when the postseason tournaments begin.
According to Westville volleyball coaches Anne Picklesimer and Kelli Howard, the Tigers still haven’t peaked. But that doesn't mean they aren't playing well. In fact, Monday’s first-round Bismarck-Henning regional match against the Georgetown-Ridge Farm Buffaloes might have been the most complete match they have played so for this season.
They defeated the Buffaloes in straight sets, 25-22, 25-14, and now have the confidence they need to take on second seed Bismarck-Henning in tonight’s 6:30 p.m. semifinal.
“We have the motivation, and we’re actually having the confidence today,” Westville senior Mikayla Rolinitis said. “We know we’re a good team, and we have the confidence.”
That confidence shouldn't be confused with arrogance, but rather taken as a renewed sense of the team’s potential.
That didn't come, according to the Tigers, until the Vermilion County Tournament.
“We kind of woke up at the beginning of the tournament,” Rolinitis said. “This whole season, we really haven’t had the confidence at all. Westville’s kind of had the name that girls sports just don’t have it. We’re wanting to change that now.”
Picklesimer saw a team on Monday capable of doing that, and the team she had anticipated seeing the entire season.
The Buffaloes challenged the third-seeded Tigers in the first set going toe-to-toe with them and even tying the set at 11-11. That’s when the Tigers (10-16) resumed control and separated themselves just enough to secure the win.
Westville then carried all of the momentum from the win into the second set and jumped out to a 6-0 lead.
“Today they were all over,” Picklesimer said. “They were communicating with one another. They weren't second-guessing themselves. They had the confidence in themselves. They were going after everything.