JOURNAL VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Vision another example of Timmermans’ sharp volleyball skills
ORANGE CITY, Iowa | Isabelle Bennett nailed a cross-court shot that most back row players wouldn’t have been able to contest.
Corrina Timmermans accepted the challenge.
The daughter of Unity Christian volleyball coach Patty Timmermans dove to the floor, dug up the hard-hit ball and was still able to make a perfect pass to setter Erin Wieringa. Wieringa dished an assist to Jori Bronner, who buried the kill past the Dyersville Beckman block onto the court.
This textbook example of bump, set and spike enabled the Knights to knot the Game 3 score of the Class 2A state tournament semifinal to 7-7. Timmermans collected 24 kills and 11 digs for a team that went on to defeat the top-seeded Eagles in four games and reach the championship round for the first time since 2001.
“I love defense,” said Timmermans, honored today as the Sioux City Journal’s volleyball player of the year.
Unity Christian’s career leader with 1,419 kills and 947 digs averaged 4.5 kills and 2.6 digs per game in three matches at Cedar Rapids’ U.S. Cellular Center for the state tournament runner-up, a program that competed at its fifth straight state tournament and its 20th overall.
“A big dig like that, the other team won’t be ready for that because they’re thinking we’re going to swing and get that ball down,” said Timmermans. “You have to look at the angles of the hitters’ arm.”
Timmermans ranked eighth in the state with 467 kills (4.36 per game) with .350 kill efficiency. An all-around player in each of her four seasons, she also recorded a career-high 321 digs for a team that ended the season with a 32-7 record.
“She laid her body out on that play and her pass was perfect to the target,” said Coach Timmermans. “That was a big play, one of those types of plays we knew she was capable of making. She seemed to do more and more of those types of plays as the season went on.
“In the back row, you’re often expected to go corner to corner. I thought at state there were great examples of where she would be on one corner and the volley would go long and the next time, she would be opposite corner and they would get either in. She was picking up a lot of balls.”
The Dordt recruit relied upon both back court and front row vision to excel. She turned in 26 double-digit kill efforts in her final season, some which came during those Saturday tournaments where matches run two to three games.
Wieringa averaged a solid 8.85 assists per game, while dishing scoring passes to either Timmermans or 5-11 senior middle hitter Jori Bronner (364 kills, 294 digs).
“It’s so much fun setting to Corrina,” smiled Wieringa. “She’s like a girl in a candy shop. I have full trust in her. She gives it her all. She’s a very smart player. Beckman got a good block on her right away, but she knew how to go around it.”
“A hitter always relies on their setter,” said Timmermans. “They give them the ball they can work with. If it’s a low set, you can’t swing away. Erin did a great job this season of setting it to the pin and where it needs to be.”
And when she sees that pass from Wieringa, Timmermans relies upon her vision to do either of two things.
“It’s a big factor to see the court because it’s who you score the points,” said Timmermans. “Sometimes, you can see a defender is pulled way up or they are pushed way back. That is an opening for tips or even a hit in certain places. The same thing with holes in the block or this defense plays this position so you want to hit the other way so they won’t reach it as easily.”
“She relies on her teammates and at times, she relies on hearing my voice,” said Coach Timmermans. “I have a pretty loud voice. She loves it when her team is behind her and they can call out a hit for her if they see the line is open or if they see there is a hole in the block. She can hear that and do what she is being told.
“That’s a tough thing to do. There’s a split second that you have when it is up there for the player behind you or the coach on the sideline which I can only do when I am on the side close to her. But I will call that out if I see it. If I see that she has a line shot, I will yell it and she will hit it on the spot. There are other players that can do that too. Maybe sometimes I do too much coaching on the sidelines, but I like to help any of them with what I see on the court.”