After playing well in a four-game home loss to Stephenville in round one of district, Lady Tiger volleyball played another competitive match in Stephenville on Friday.
Unfortunately, the Honeybees had all the answers to sweep Glen Rose 25-13, 25-18 and 25-19. After game one, the Lady Tigers (20-13, 4-2) did a better job of making Stephenville work for the win.
The Lady Tigers did have trouble in a variety of areas in game one, as they fell behind 3-11. A Lady Tiger wasn’t directly responsible for a point until a Reilly Junge kill at 5-12. She had another kill four points later (6-15). Kayla Goebel made a couple of plays (2 kills) down the stretch, but the Lady Tigers never really threatened the home team (13-25).
“It was never the same thing, as far as our problems in game one – service-receive, couldn’t get a free ball over, couldn’t get a hit over; we just had way too many unforced errors,” said coach Laura Korenek. “I don’t know if they had to earn half of the points they got.”
A couple of other issues included Stephenville hitters finding holes on back row and the Lady Tigers getting blocked frequently.
“(The Honeybees) do a really good job of working hard angles,” Korenek said. “We knew that and I thought we handled it pretty well in the first match against them, but we just didn’t get to the right spots (Friday). That was probably the best game we’ve had on covering blocks.
“They blocked us three times in a row at one point, and we just kept hitting. I thought that was good, because at least we got more (hitting) attempts.”
Despite falling behind 0-3 in game two, Glen Rose got off to a much better start at 8-8. Meredith Odom (tip, kill) won consecutive points, while Caitlin Fellers got a kill.
“We started out good in that game; we were a little more fired up,” Korenek said. “We were hitting at them, causing them to make some unforced errors. We had to be on the attack, or they’re going to come back swinging hard.”
As Stephenville shot into an 18-11 lead, hitting errors were the specific Glen Rose issue. The Lady Tigers got as close as 15-18 after a couple of tips from Kelsey Potter, but Stephenville was able to rebuild a cushion and put it away (18-25).
“Hitting errors were a problem, especially at the end,” the coach said. “(The Honeybees) had a 6-0 streak there against us when we couldn’t seem to hit it back over the net.”
While Stephenville led for good after 3-3, the Lady Tigers hung close out to 9-11. Goebel (kill, block) was doing her part, and Junge served up an ace. Stephenville continued to find holes in the visiting defense and the Lady Tigers had miscommunication issues throughout the match – usually when two defenders would collide going after a ball.
“Their (middle hitters) really did a good job of working the right front,” Korenek said. “It’s coming quick at you and you have to be in the right spot. Half of these girls are sick and don’t have (much of) a voice, so I think that may have been an issue regarding our communication; it just wasn’t good enough.”
As Stephenville worked into a commanding 20-12 lead, the Lady Tigers were having serve-receive trouble and giving up several aces. Maysen Mapes did have an ace of her own for the red team.
“Serve-receive killed us all three sets,” Korenek said. “We worked on that and knew they were going to serve tough; I think we should’ve been more mentally ready.”
On the bright side, the Lady Tigers definitely didn’t give up, and actually played some of their best ball late in the game with a Potter block, an Odom kill and a Fellers kill before Stephenville put it away (19-25).
“Caitlin had a good kill very late in game three and it’s good that we kept fighting, because it’s easy to give in,” Korenek said. “I was glad to see Reilly get her serve going a little bit in game three, and Stephenville struggled with it a little bit. She also had some good kills in game one.”
The Lady Tigers have two district matches left, starting with a home contest against Venus on Tuesday after the 5 p.m. JV match.
“Our next two matches are so important to mentally prepare for playoffs,” Korenek said. “We have to improve every day.”