Seniors use off court roles to impact win over T-Wolves
Against Norman North Thursday it took nearly everything for Jenks volleyball to pull out a win.
The match went five sets and saw the Lady Trojans emerge victorious in a revenge game against a strong Lady Timberwolves team. Both squads came to battle, and Jenks had the upper hand in the end.
There were many big plays made throughout the contest. Blocks at the net, spikes slamming into the hardwood, hustle plays to keep the ball alive.
But none of that would have been possible without two players who hardly saw the floor.
Mia Burge and Kylie Rathbun spent little time on the court Thursday, yet their impact was felt the strongest in the win. Burge and Rathbun pulled Jenks out of an energy slump that had the team losing two out of its last three.
What they did on the floor against Norman North wasn’t their biggest impact, it was the hours leading up to the match that Burge and Rathbun helped seal the deal for the Lady Trojans.
The two seniors spent their day getting their teammates prepared the team for its next opponent.
“I basically watched film all day and took notes,” Burge said. “We went through on our whiteboard, best player, worst players, people we need to serve to.”
The preparedness was immediately evident in the match.
The Lady Trojans came out with an intensity that led to them winning the first set 25-18. Norman North stole the next set 25-20 but that didn’t waiver the team.
Jenks took the third set, lost the fourth, and came in clutch in the fifth to take the win.
After the game, Burge and Rathbun’s teammates knew the preparation was the game changer.
“They’ve all said, ‘This helps me so much.’ Because they can visualize where they need to be going, who they need to be watching. I think it just helped to mentally prepare them,” Burge said.
During the course of action Burge could see that her team put her advice into practice.
“They were blocking where those hitters were supposed to be,” Burge said. “That was awesome. Being ready for where they were going to hit, our defense killed it. They were calling out shots where we needed to be going which truly helped us win.”
Norman North and Jenks first met in the Broken Arrow tournament three weeks ago. Since the straight set sweep, Jenks found its voice.
“I think it’s just more of them having an ownership,” coach Tanna Smith said. “The information that Mia and Kylie shared is no different than what I went over the last time we played them. The difference was, they took the initiative themselves to get in there and do the breakdown and scouting of it. It was the same thing I told them but this time they owned it and they were a part of it.”