Kayla Singleton is a sports journalism student at Arizona State University covering Tolleson Union High School Athletics.
A new libero was not enough for Tolleson’s volleyball team to pull out a win against Westview, losing 3-0 in their second conference game.
Energy was high in the Tolleson Union gym after the freshmen and junior varsity teams had defeated Westview, but it didn’t stay that way for long.
In the first set both teams initially struggled with passing errors and miscommunication. However, the Knights found their rhythm finishing the set 25-19 and consistently led the rest of the match from there.
After the first set, Tolleson’s Cerenity Chagnon put on the libero jersey and took on a new position mid match.
Originally Tolleson’s setter, Chagnon’s change of position changed rotation as well as the team having one less hitter on the court. But their other experienced setter and right-side hitter Capatain Aubree Sim easily filled the gap.
“This is actually the first time we’ve ever used the libero. I thought why not? We’ll throw her in she’s one of the better passers,” said Head coach Bethany Marshall. “She did great tonight, so she’ll probably stay there.”
Nearly halfway through the regular season with a record of 3-5, Tolleson is ready to try something new.
“I’m excited to learn more about [the position] and take that role of leadership.” said Chagnon.
At the beginning of the second set as Tolleson was adjusting to their personnel changes, Westview was in the zone and had found a solid rhythm. They had less out of system-passing than the Wolverines and were able to minimize errors, ending the set 25-10.
Westview captain, Lauren Tomelden, was able to keep her team focused and playing in sync. Her consistent passing from the left side and the kills she had, including one to finish the second set, helped her team to keep their momentum throughout the match.
Tolleson came out strong in the beginning of the third set but few errors on the other side of the net and clean passing from Knights Adrianna Elias and Maddy Yates, put Westview back in the lead.
The end of the third set had errors from both teams including the Wolverines being out of rotation, but the Knights closed out the set with a score of 25-19, winning the match.
“We need to focus and clean up our mistakes,” said Sim as she mentally prepares for practice and another match the following day. “Our attitudes weren’t the best today, so we need to pick it up”
Currently on a four-game losing streak, Tolleson is planning on making changes to turn its season around.
“I’m definitely looking for consistency and I’m probably looking to pull some players up,” said Marshall. “So they get that experience so that when we have a game like this we aren’t out of rotation.”
Although a loss, Chagnon’s new position gives the team hope for upcoming games.
“I feel like we dug way more balls and I’m sure if we looked at the stats it would show we had way more touches on those,” said Marshall.
With a match against Sierra Linda (1-5) Wednesday, Sept. 22 and another one against Valley Vista (14-1) the day after that, Tolleson will have the opportunity to put its adjustments and new focuses to the test.