OREM The Orem Tigers plan to roar this season.
They have big plans for repeating as Region 7 volleyball champs and to make plenty of noise at state.
And they got off to a good start in their first match of the season as they opened at home against rebuilding Timpanogos. The Tigers took off early and ran away with a 25-11, 25-14, 25-7 victory over their cross-town rivals.
"I told them to just go out there and take care of business and let's go home. There's no reason to draw this out," said Orem coach Natalie Kidman.
And her players did as they were told. Sophomore Hannah Robison led the team with eight kills, and Ella Moe added an impressive five blocks, but statistics were hard to rack up as the match went by rather quickly. Elisha Le did contribute three of the Tigers' six service aces in the match, and Rylee Robinson served six straight points during her first at bat in game one and never let up all match long with her hard low floater.
"We had great serving. I give huge props to our serving them off the court," said Kidman, who noted that she wished the passing would have been better, but it was the first game of the year for the Tigers, who actually surprised her with their blocking acumen.
"Moe put up a huge block on the right side, and she can swing. She hurts people wherever she plays," said Kidman, who has been playing around with positions early in the season. One thing she does know though is that Robison will be swinging away if she has her way.
"When her timing's on we see how lethal she can be. When she swings it hurts. I tell her to go for blood," Kidman added about her sophomore spiker.
But it isn't just a one-man show for Orem this season, the team might count heavily on a sophomore in the outside hitting spot, but it also starts five seniors and puts nine on the court, leading Kidman to say she's not looking forward to this season ending.
"This team has been a long time in the making, and I'm excited for them. This year we're just fine tuning because we've been working together for so long," Kidman noted.Timpanogos was able to take the early 1-0 lead in each of the first two games, but it wasn't able to last long as the rebuilding T-Wolves are still trying to get the feel of each other on the court. They did see plenty of good things from Erianne Avery, who was able to put down five kills to lead her team in it's second game of the season.