No. 10 Trinity Lutheran dropped a home match against No. 3 Christian Academy of Indiana 25-11, 25-19, 25-13 on Thursday evening.
The Cougars could not establish much of a rhythm throughout the game against the Warriors.
Trinity coach Chelsea Stroub said she thought her players still competed the way they should have.
“I thought we hustled really hard,” she said, adding there were a few things the team needed to work on during the next couple weeks. “It’s just we had a really tough opponent to battle with.”
The Cougars fell to an early 5-1 deficit until junior Abby Hackman ended the volley. The Cougars earned a few points to bring the score 7-4.
After a few exchanges between the two teams the score was 8-6 and that was the closest the Cougars would come in the set as Christian Academy went on a dominate 6-0 run to bring the score to 14-7 with a run by freshman Kendall Kerberg.
Christian Academy used another 6-0 run and the two exchanged points before Christian Academy earned the 25-11 set win.
CAI got a quick start in the second set when things went dim for the Cougars. The Warriors jumped to 21-11 with their powerful offense. At one point, Kerberg led the Warriors on a 9-0 run.
That’s when the Cougars sprang to life.
The Cougars worked behind a few runs by seniors Lexi Schneider and Whitney Rogers. The Cougars brought it to 24-19 but dropped the match point to end their run.
Stroub thought the effort in the second set was something the team could build on.
“We came out strong, and we caught on fire and that’s something I love to see,” she said. “That shows me that we got it, we just need to put everything together.”
She added that success in the second set and working on some fundamentals could make the difference.
“It’s the little things, too,” she said. “I look forward to working on that and I really know they can do it.”
The third set started promising for the Cougars as both teams stayed neck-and-neck at 2-2. Then the Warriors took possession and junior Alli Stumler took her team on a 5-0 run to bring the lead to 8-3.
The two teams traded points back-and-forth for much of the rest of the set before Warriors’ freshman Halle Rankin scored six unanswered points to bring the score to 22-13.
The Warriors went on to win the set 25-13.
Stroub said she kept telling the team to calm down and focus on taking each point at a time.
“They had a lot of nerves tonight,” she said. “I told them to play their game and stay at our pace and just stay confident.”
Trinity Lutheran (4-2) will next play Saturday at Barr-Reeve.