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The Lady Warriors have had a busy week, playing six games in four days. The final two games were the first home matches of the season when Neligh-Oakdale hosted a triangular Thursday.
Emerson-Hubbard defeated the Lady Warriors 25-6 and 25-11 in the first game.
"Our first game last night was tough, the girls simply weren't focused and ready to play," Coach Hannah Hoefer said. The coach said she's not sure "whether it was nerves of finally getting to play in our gym in front of our hometown crowd, or the fact that they didn't have an hour drive like we've been having the last month to mentally get ready."
"But we don't make excuses, and we need to do what it takes before every match to be ready, physically and mentally!" Hoefer said.
The last game was a tighter match, but Pender came out on top, 25-16 and 25-20.
"The final game of the night they proved to be much more prepared and fired up to play," she said. "We had some position changes again to work around players that were having an off night, and on the court, their intensity began to rise. Chase Vleck coming in off the bench to get a few touches in the first set helped, and one solo ace block in the second gave us something to feed off of. She came down pumped, and I saw it spread through every player on the court with her, it gave them all some confidence. Nikki Grosserode stepped up her level of play all around the court as well. Neither middle has played much back row on varsity, so I felt like I was kinda feeding them to the wolves, but they rose to the challenge and did well."
The coach said "a week like this can be mentally draining on all of them, but they proved to us they aren't giving up."
"They won't stop working hard in practice," Hoefer said. "And they want to see improvements from game to game, so we keep plugging away and working on the little things that we can control and work our way to getting better results."
The Lady Warriors will host Creighton on Tuesday, Oct. 7 in the team's "Pink Out" game. All fans are encouraged to wear pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. Volleyball action will begin with the C team at 5:30 p.m.