Mt. Pleasant takes all 8 sets from Demons in season series
The Washington volleyball team is struggling out of the gate.
“I really don’t have answer for it, it is something we talk about every single day,” said head coach Julianna Berg. “If we could start stronger and close the gap earlier, you would see a different outcome.”
Wednesday against Mt. Pleasant the Demons fell behind 7-1 in the first set, 5-0 in the second set and 6-0 in the final set, in a 3-0 loss.
“We need to work on giving up (points) at the beginning of the game, so we don’t have to fight back,” said sophomore Amber Salow.
Washington showed glimpses of success that it will try to sustain over longer periods of time the rest of the season.
For instance, with its back against the wall in the third set, Washington rallied off four straight points with the Panthers looking for match point at 24-12.
“I think we have about five (players) who are in the 6-feet-tall area,” said Mt. Pleasant head coach Jeff Schulz. “Going against that can be intimidating, but they were fighting all the way to the end.”
The Demons managed to out-score the Panthers 15-13 after facing a 13-1 deficit that snowballed after early errors.
“We make mistakes and then we get down,” Salow said. “We need to keep ourselves up and not make that many mistakes.”
The final scores of the first two games were 25-17 and 25-15. It’s the little things that are holding the Demons back from a complete performance.
“We need to work better together, talk more, move our feet more, go after every ball,” Salow said. “Once we get the puzzle pieces together we will come out with a win.”
The pair of teams were meeting for the third time this season with the Panthers winning 3-0 Sept. 10 and 2-0 Sept. 21. The latest match-up saw improved play from both squads.
“From their side you can definitely see the improvement the coach has done over there,” Schulz said. “The girls had great attitudes over there, too. Give Washington the credit — they dug about a lot of balls that should have hit the ground. From our side we were running more offense.”
Sophomore Emma Stout had 9-for-9 serving with one ace. Junior Sydney Hoffman had four blocks and senior Victoria Bennett had two blocks.
Senior Michelle Holland hit 7-of-7 on serves. Junior Sydney Hoffman had one ace on 7-of-8 serving.
Amber Salow went 7-for-9 serving and junior Lauren Swan went 6-of-6 serving.
Junior Racheal Hall had 11 assists.
The biggest barrier for Washington is the mental aspect of the game, in addition to trying to make up for errors.
“Somewhat we are a little bit worried about making mistakes,” Berg said. “It comes down to ‘now I have to get a kill.’ We are kind of overcompensating a little bit.”
Schulz saw potential for Washington even in a loss.
“They were a very formidable opponent and handled themselves very well,” Schulz said.
Berg said she hopes to evoke a passion for the game out of her team, which will translate into better play.
“I tell them go out and have fun,” Berg said. “Get lost in the moment — don’t worry about mistakes.”