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Clark sparks Tigresses in season opener

PRINCETON — Taylor Clark was infectious with her trademark big smile and play on the court Thursday, providing the Princeton Tigresses with a much-needed spark off the bench in the third set with Kewanee Wethersfield.

The PHS junior contributed three kills and a block down the stretch to help the Tigresses take the set and match with a 25-21 victory. PHS won the first set 25-19 with Wethersfield taking the second 21-25.

“Taylor Clark comes in, does a great job getting the ball. There were a couple of sets she got there I think was the only person in the gym that would be able to put that ball away,” head coach Andy Puck said. “That was Taylor’s role there which was perfect for her. We’re going to find bits and pieces for her throughout the season. She executes. She just gets it done.”

Puck graded the Tigresses with a B-plus for the efforts in their season opener. He said they came out very aggressive in the first set, attacked and attacked. It was a case of a little too late in the second set, and they were able to overcome eight serve receive errors in the third.

“We needed to play,” Puck said. “I kind of knew what we had. I knew Wethersfield was dynamite, 6-foot, 6-foot, good setter. Not a cupcake to open with it. Our first match being canceled Tuesday, I was a little scared coming in, but the kids weren’t.

“First game, we’re still trying to find an identity. I wouldn’t have had any problems walking away with the loss, the way we competed. We played well. Take a win over a loss any day, but …”

The Tigresses had plenty of weapons with four girls with seven or more kills on the night. Senior middle hitter Becca Hult led the Tigresses with 10 kills and four blocks. Ashley Farraher added nine kills with sophomore Hailey Schultz adding eight and Alicia Poss seven with two blocks.

Senior setter Michelle Kelly was the provider, evenly contributing 36 assists to go with a team-high seven digs.

Tiger tales: Wethersfield swept the underclass levels, taking the freshmen match 25-12, 26-24 and the sophomores 25-17, 30-28. The Wethersfield match was added late as a replacement for Rock Falls. Tuesday’s match at Fulton was canceled due to the heat and will be played Sept. 30. The Tigresses will return to action Tuesday, hosting St. Bede to kickoff Three Rivers south division play.

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