The Lady Titans, already reeling from a three-game losing streak and in the depths of their toughest stretch of games this season, will not find any quick relief in the form of easy opponents as their regular season nears its end.
Humboldt-TR-S, now 11-10, dropped a pair of matches last Tuesday at a triangular at Johnson-Brock and have lost six of their last seven after starting the season 10-4, began pool play yesterday at the Elmwood-Murdock Booster Club Tournament.
The five-team field includes Class C2 No. 4 Freeman (18-3), Class D2 No. 7 Mead (18-4), Class C1 Malcolm (12-13) and hosts Elmwood-Murdock (13-10). HTRS started with a 5 p.m. game against Malcolm, then faced Mead at 6 p.m. and closed out their night against E-M at 8. HTRS finishes pool play against Freeman at 7 p.m. tonight in Murdock.
The top two teams from the pool play square off for the championship at 8 tonight.
Last Tuesday in Johnson, the Lady Titans took the second set from D2 No. 5 Falls City Sacred Heart, 25-19, after losing a highly contested first set, 27-29. HTRS hung with the Irish in the third set, but fell 25-20. HTRS recorded 72 digs in the match and were led by sophomore Claire Svoboda, who finished with a team-high 20 digs to go along with 12 points and four aces. Courtney Allen and Ashton Nanninga finished with nine and eight kills, respectively.
The loss to FCSH may have lingered, as HTRS fell to J-B, in another hard fought, three-set match, 16-25, 25-20, 22-25. Allen led the attack with seven kills, while also recording a dozen digs. Carmen Alexander served seven points and finished with a team-high 24 digs, while Nanninga recorded five kills and four ace blocks. Mollee Sharpe also finished with five kills.
It doesn’t get any easier for HTRS next week in the Pioneer Conference Tournament. HTRS is the eight seed and opens with Wymore Southern (8-13) in the first round on Monday at 4:30 p.m. in Humboldt. The winner moves on to play D2 No. 4 Sterling (18-5) at 7 p.m. Rounding out the field are (current record, tournament seed): Johnson-Brock (13-8, No. 4), Pawnee City (11-12, No. 5), Friend (20-3, No. 3), Lourdes Central Catholic (10-11, No. 6), Diller-Odell (13-11, No. 7), Lewiston (2-21, No. 10) and FC Sacred Heart (20-3, No. 2).
Games will be played next Monday, Tuesday and Friday in Humboldt and Pawnee City and the tournament concludes with Friday’s championship match, which is scheduled for 8 p.m. in Humboldt. Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for students.