WATERTOWN – What a week it has been for Watertown-Mayer junior Paige Thibault. The University of Virginia commit recorded her 1,000th career kill last week against Dassel-Cokato. She followed that up by recording her 1,000th career dig in a 3-0 (26-24, 25-22, 25-19) sweep of Norwood Young America Tuesday night.
“It feels awesome,” Thibault said. “It’s nice to get recognized for the hard work you put in. I have an awesome team. They’re just so supportive. It means a lot.”
While another milestone reached is nice, Thibault was more happy the Royals got the win. She knew she was close, but her focus was on her team and getting a win.
“She’s stayed focused,” W-M coach Andrea Raser said. “She knew it was coming, but she stayed focused on her team and getting the job done. A 1,000 digs is great, but that was just secondary to her just playing with her team.”
It was an impressive win for the Royals who were just coming off a loss to the Raiders this past weekend at the Class AA Showcase. They came ready to play and with the win, improved to 16-5 on the season.
“They knew they could,” Raser said. “They were very confident stepping onto the court. We were down in every single game in the beginning, and it didn’t seem to faze them. They played through it.”
“I think that we were just very determined,” Paige Thibault added. “We knew we wanted to win tonight. We thought nothing was going to stop us from winning. We were going to do what we had to do to win.”
After rallying in set one to grab the lead, the Royals found themselves needing to rally again in set two. NYA had a 21-17 lead, but four aces (three by Kate Thibault and one from Natalie Ernhart) led the Royals to the comeback win and a 2-0 lead over the Raiders.
“She’s a libero, and the girl can hit a ball,” Raser said about Kate Thibault. “I mean, she’s tiny and she’s mighty. She just gets it done. She plays with no fear. She plays her best games when she plays with no fear. It’s fun to see her out there. She’s the one who gets our team excited.”
For the complete story and more HJ sports coverage, check out the Friday, September 27 edition of the Herald Journal. Click here for subscription information.