Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Pierre Bibbs
Sports Editor 

2018 M-ette Volleyball

M-ettes have five seniors; Win Invitational

 

August 29, 2018

Pierre Bibbs

The 2018 Malta M-ettes Volleyball Team. Left to right: #7 Kyleigh Schipman, #3 Janessa Malmend, #6 Kloie Marks, #4 Wylee Young, #2 Raina Mortenson, #14 Kelbee Denham, #5 Kaylanna Bain, #12 Carly Garfield, #1 Erica Smith, and #9 Macy Williamson.

The Malta M-ette Volleyball team has retained plenty of talent from last year as a majority of this year's team either started or logged minutes last season.

The team returns five seniors this season; Janessa Malmend, Kyleigh Schipman, Raina Mortenson, Wylee Young and Kloie Marks.

The team will be without two of three 2017 All-Conference selections after losing Sam Mitchell and Ella Schye to graduation. Marks will be the team's lone returning All-Conference athlete.

"I feel like girls underestimate her a little bit by her height and she is an amazing backrow defensive specialist on top of being able to swing," said Malta Head Coach Tasha Hines. "She can change her angles coming in on her hip. You can tell her to go further out or you can bring her further in to go around or on the line also."

In their 6-2 system, the team will likely go with Schipman and Mortenson as their primary setters, though both of them are capable hitters.

"Raina is one of our setters and she has been in the program for as long as I can remember," Coach Hines said. "She has continued to grow."

Malmend offers the team a little versatility though she is listed as a middle hitter.

"She can also play outside," Coach Hines said. "The girls get excited about that because she has a good cut and a hard hit."

Young is an outside hitter for the team that provided a spark at times in 2017.

"Wylee is a fun player," Coach Hines said. "At 5-5, she is not super tall but she has form. She is fun to watch hit and she loves hitting line and she has an amazing cut."

Schipman has provided the team with a reliable setup for the past couple of seasons, and offers solid digs when needed.

"Kyleigh is probably one of the most aggressive as far as getting crazy digs," Coach Hines said. "She gets a hand on them. As a setter it doesn't always leave you in the best position to get hard digs. She has got amazing hands."

This year's senior class offers the team plenty of experience and confidence in all aspects of the game.

"All five of these girls can play all around the floor," Coach Hines said. "Some may come off at times but none of them need to. It's pretty rare for all five to be that scrappy, which is what they are."

Pierre Bibbs

Senior Wylee Young goes up for a kill against Harlem at last Saturday's Malta Invitational Tournament.

It is year three for Co-Coaches Hines and Kalli Rummel and this year the M-ettes were able to pull off a feat that has not happened in some time; winning the Malta Athletic Club Volleyball Invitational Tournament.

The event was held last Saturday at the Malta High School Gymnasium and gave the M-ettes their first action of the season.

The team bounced back after going 1-3 in pool play. In the opening round of the tournament Malta defeated North Country 25-19 and 25-9. The team would go on to defeat Chinook 25-11 and 25-17. Malta would then defeat Circle 25-16 in the first frame but would lose 22-25 in the second, giving them enough points to move on.

Malta would defeat Tri-Cities in the Championship game. Tri-Cities won the first set 22-25, but Malta would bounce back and win the second set 25-22. In a tie-breaker, Malta would win 3-1.

 

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