PLYMOUTH — With games against LaPorte and Penn, Plymouth’s volleyball schedule throws the Lady Pilgrims right into the fire.
The young Pilgrims dropped a three-game match to a talented visiting Penn squad Thursday, 25-14, 25-13, 25-13, following a similar opening loss to LaPorte at home Tuesday.
“It’s fun to play great teams right off the bat,” said first-year Plymouth Head Volleyball Coach Doug West. “It’s exciting volleyball, and you always want to be playing the best teams and seeing how you stack up. Of course, we want to be one of those great teams that people are playing the first games of the season. We want to take a game or two off a LaPorte or Penn and be fighting legitimately to win the match. That’s of course our ultimate goal. But yeah, we do start off with a real strong week of volleyball with those two.”
Net play made all the difference as the Lady Kingsmen ran away with the win.
“Penn is very strong at the net, a good, strong blocking team, and they have a lot of weapons,” said West. “They’re very strong in their net play, and that’s what the difference was.”
Plymouth was led by a balanced effort from junior Marissa German, who finished with six kills and six digs. Andria Shook and Amber Redinger put away five and four kills, respectively, while Haley Harrell led in setting with seven assists, and libero Kelly Hoeffler co-led with German on defense with six digs.
It’s a tough 0-2 start for the Pilgrims but one that helps the team to size itself up against some of the area’s top talent early. It’s the first year at the helm for West, a former Indiana University head coach and Ball State player.
“I really enjoy being here,” he said. “This is a great opportunity. I’m having lots of fun. The girls are great to work with, and I’m enjoying working with the coaches that work together. It’s just a neat environment where people really enjoy athletics so I’m real happy to be here and real positive and up-beat. I think we have a lot of potential. We definitely want to get to the next level from being a good, solid team to being a great team.”
• PENN 3,
PLYMOUTH 0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-13)
Kills: Marissa German 6, Andria Shook 5, Amber Redinger 4
Aces: Cierra Carroll 1
Assists: Haley Harrell 7
Digs: German 6, Kelly Hoeffler 6
Record: Plymouth 0-2
JV score: Penn 2, Plymouth 0 (25-13, 25-13).