For The Tribune
Crothersville’s volleyball team looked as though it could have competed with Henryville during a match Monday night at home.
But once the Tigers (2-16) lost the opening set, 25-20, the team spiraled into two poorly played sets and dropped the match 3-0 to the visiting squad.
The Tigers lost the final two sets 25-12, 25-9.
Tigers coach Kourtney Settle said her team seemed to be more relaxed in the first set and that she thought they might be able to put up a good fight against the Hornets.
“They were talking a lot more and they didn’t play afraid or timid,” she said. “I didn’t have practice on Friday, and I think having the weekend off and having a break gave the opportunity to play the way they can and way more relaxed with less pressure.”
The more relaxed team did not make many errors in the first set, Settle said, and they were able to communicate.
But Settle said her team does struggle with bouncing back after losing a set, especially the first one.
“My team’s mentality seems to be if they lose that first set, they really struggle with being able to move on and play,” she said. “They don’t play with the same fire.”
The team did start the second set off well, trailing only 7-6 in the first few possessions.
Then Henryville earned the ball back and went on a small four-point run led by Ayla Ryan to bring the score 11-7.
The Tigers were able to earn the ball back, only to put it back in the hands of Henryville’s Cameron Kearney. Kearney led the Hornets on a six-point run to give the Hornets a commanding 17-8 lead.
After trading a few points, the Hornets’ Jalyn Michael, Riley Nunn and Avery King led the team to a 25-12 set win during a run. Each had an ace during the stretch.
The Tigers seemed to shut down completely at the beginning of the third set, allowing the Hornets to jump to a 12-0 lead behind serving from Kearney. Kearney had three aces in the stretch.
“At that point they had given up because I don’t think anyone even called a ball that whole game,” Settle said.
“We’ve been down like that before and have been able to come back,” she said. “So I know they can do it, it’s just difficult during some matches.”
Both teams traded possessions until the Hornets were able to win a dominating 25-9 final set to capture the match.
“They’re not playing as one, and it’s hurting us,” Settle said. “They need to have more trust in each other. There are a lot of times when two girls will call a ball and instead of being able to back off and let the other get it, they don’t trust one to go for it and they will collide and no one will be able to get the ball.”
Seeing balls get dropped because of those mistakes is difficult for Settle to accept.
“That’s frustrating to me,” she said. “It’s because they don’t trust each other, and it’s something we need to work on, and they really have improved over the course of the season, but it’s something they can do better.”
The Tigers will travel to Medora on Thursday evening for a Jackson County rivalry contest.