Aniles Schuler

Holgate’s Aniles Schuler tips the ball over the net during the Lady Tigers’ match with Miller City Tuesday night in the Tiger Cage.

HOLGATE — Holgate was stymied by the most powerful team it has faced this season in a three-set loss Tuesday in the Tiger Cage.

Tasked with handling power hitters both at the net and at the service line, the Lady Tigers struggled to score in a 25-5, 25-6, 25-5 non-league loss.

“That’s the hardest hitting team we’ve seen in a while,” Holgate coach Heather Finley said.

“I feel like that first set, the score was really not indicative of how we actually played. But then the next two sets they kind of overpowered us.”

Holgate, which has not won a set against the Wildcats since 2017, fell to 1-8 overall. Miller City, which was a district runner-up a year ago, improved to 7-2.

After six straight Miller City points to open the match, senior captain Carissa Meyer smacked a kill for Holgate’s first point and scored again two serves later to come within 7-2.

Aniles Schuller prevailed after a long rally later in the set to cut Holgate’s deficit to 20-5. But Schuller’s kill was the Lady Tigers’ only long-rally win, never scoring consecutive points in the opening set.

“I thought the girls got to their spots, they were getting some blocks up. They really were not playing that bad,” Finley said. “We just couldn’t finish out that rally when we had the chance to do it.”

Olivia Blaker spurred a short Holgate run in the second set when her spike along the sideline landed deep into the right corner of Miller City’s half. Holgate forced the Wildcats to misplay its next two serves to come within 18-5.

But Miller City blasted hit after hit to close out the set, repeatedly forcing errant digs and miscommunication.

Holgate did not win consecutive points again in the third set, closed out by a spike attempt that floated too far past the back line.

Aniles Schuller, Carissa Meyer and Jordyn Hoellrich each had two kills for the Lady Tigers, while Lexa Schuller made eight assists.

“We have to understand that when we are able to get those passes and sets up, we have got to kill it. We can’t give it back to them,” Finley said.

“It’s great when you win long rallys, but you have to take advantage of the opportunities to kill it when you have them.

“You win some and you learn from the ones that you don’t. We learn from today and move on to Thursday’s game.”

Holgate continues non-league play Thursday at 5:30 p.m., when it hosts Wauseon.

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