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The Lady Bobcats had plenty of tip balls for easy points en route to straight-set victory Tuesday at Bobcat Gym. BHS's won eight of last nine matches. Matt Hollinshead/The Daily Times, Wochit

BLOOMFIELD – Katie Waresback admitted she hadn’t been as quick to fly around and stuff opposing hitters as she needs to be.

“I get frustrated when I don’t get a block,” the Bloomfield middle blocker said.

But now she's turning the corner in the most critical stretch of 2019, with the Lady Bobcats in the thick of the 4A playoff race. Just in her last three matches, Waresback tallied 10 of her 27 blocks.

“It’s been good because I’ve always known that she’s capable. She has great hop, she’s super fast,” coach Sunni Corley said. “She’s reading (hitters) earlier so she has time to get there. She’s moving aggressively to go stuff somebody… She’s finally finding her confidence and finding her stride. This is the perfect time in our season to do so.”

Waresback also has the presence of mind to send free balls over the net when they’re well in her reach.

“I think it makes (opponents) want to do something different and change what they’re doing,” Waresback said. “I think it’s all about timing… you’ve got to get there with your feet and then go with your arms. I think it helps getting there faster, seeing your set first.”

Whenever Waresback manages to generate a block or two any given match, she considers it a good night for herself.

Waresback’s been working on anticipating where to slide, how fast to slide and how fast her vertical leaps must be.

“Even if I don’t get a stuffed block, at least I’ll still be there,” Waresback said. “I think my feet are faster (lately), and I’m doing a lot better getting up faster, not second-guessing it.”

Waresback also said she wants to be less reliant on snapping her arms and keep her arms straight when going for a block.

Still, Waresback’s now getting key stops and forcing opponents to reset up front on a frequent basis. She’s finally making her presence known, even if she doesn’t get a block per se. Even tipping free balls over are creating a bit of that intimidation factor.

“She’s there at the net, and she’s ready for those kind of things, those big overpasses,” Corley said. “She’s unstoppable when she’s on. She’s always been quick, but now she’s using it to her advantage.”

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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