Lady 'Hounds rally comes too late against Orrick
SWEET SPRINGS -- There were growing pains, but they began to ease Tuesday for the Sweet Springs volleyball team.
Of course, against a quality Orrick club, the adjustment to a new defensive scheme was costly for the Lady Greyhounds -- suffering a 25-13, 25-22 home loss, their fourth straight in I-70 Conference play -- but they eventually began to sort out matters.
Seniors Kristen Chapman and Kelly Riddle both aced serves as the Lady Bearcats broke out to an 11-1 lead two possessions into the first game. Senior Keely Cosgrove served up three points to get Sweet Springs within 19-7 late in the opening rotation, but it was too little, too late.
"We came out tentative because of our new defensive coverage," Lady 'Hounds head coach Redd Rennison explained. "The girls had some misses, but I was proud of the way they stayed in there."
The second set was a battle throughout. Junior Leslie Keesaer had a pair of aces, Sweet Springs scoring four times during her serve to pull ahead, 8-6. Senior Sara Werle dropped in a couple of offerings to give Orrick a 12-10 lead at the end of the first turn through the lineup.
The Lady 'Cats still held a two-point lead the second time around and never got further ahead until notching the final two points on senior Nicole Cahill's serve.
"We came out and played the best game we've played all year," Rennison declared. "Our new coverage was working, we had girls talking and the hustle and fun were there."
In the end, though, Orrick (5-5-1, 1-1 I-70) was stronger at the net. Werle had five kills and seven blocks and junior Ashley Townsend laid down seven shots and rejected four. The Greyhounds managed just six kills, three by senior Amanda Weller.
Defensively, though, Sweet Springs was solid, with senior Linsey Johnson pulling up seven digs and senior Linzi Harris making six saves. Weller, Keesaer and senior Ashley Hinck each had three digs.
"The second game they showed how they were capable of playing when they show confidence," Rennison remarked. "Hopefully, this confidence will stay with the girls."
It will have to remain with them for nearly a week, because the Lady 'Hounds (1-8, 0-4) don't take the court against before hosting Lone Jack Monday.