The Trinity Lutheran volleyball team is going to use Saturday’s volleyball match against Loogootee as a learning experience.
“We have to come back and use this as a tool. (We want to) use the things that didn’t quite go our way, use them to our advantage from here on out,” Cougars coach Chelsey Hackman said after No. 3 Loogootee defeated No. 5 Trinity, 25-22, 25-20, 21-25, 25-12, in the Bollinger Athletic Complex.
“They’re ranked third in the state, and obviously, they’re going to be a pretty good team,” Hackman said. “They had quite a few strong hitters up front. When you’ve got the height, it’s easy to do. When they are that tall, you’ve got to expect that they’re pretty good. Their outside (hitters) put some balls down the line, and we had a tough time getting those picked up. And both of their middles were strong.”
In the first set, the Cougars overcame a 13-9 deficit to tie the score at 14 on an ace from Liz Hill, and they had an 18-15 lead following a kill by Hannah Barker. The Lions used a string of six-straight points to lead, 23-20. An ace by Haylee Barker closed the difference to 23-22 before the Lions scored the final two points.
The second set was tied at 14 before the Lions scored back-to-back points, and the Cougars were unable to take the lead from there. A kill by Mallory Barker left the Cougars down, 17-16, and a kill by Kyra Klosterman closed Trinity’s deficit to 24-20 before 6-foot-1 junior Michala Beasley put down a kill for set point.
Loogootee pulled head 8-4 in the third set before the Cougars pulled even at 9, took a 14-10 lead on a kill by Hill and used kills by Sarah Stuckwisch to lead 19-15 and 22-17. Set point came on a passing error by the Lions.
“The fourth one, we just kind of laid over,” Hackman said as the Lions scored the first three points to lead all the way. “Nobody was ready for anything. A lot of us were standing up. We weren’t ready to move forward. We weren’t ready for tips. We weren’t ready for balls to come on the side. We were waiting for the ball to come over and play it instead of anticipating. If you do that, it’s really going to get to you eventually.
“One thing we’re going to work on this week is making sure we’re moving to the ball and making sure we’re moving all the time. The first three games, we did that. We moved our feet. We moved forward. We were ready for everything. The fourth game, we just kind of got out there and flopped, and you’ll have that, but I hated to see that against such a good team because we had the potential to pull that off.”
The Cougars scored consecutive points only once in the fourth set. Loogootee had a 16-5 lead when Stuckwisch scored a kill, and the visitors had a passing error to make it 16-7. Loogootee built its lead to 20-8, and the teams traded points until the set was over, and the Lions improved their record to 30-4.
Hackman said her team’s communication on the floor was lacking at times.
“We have some quiet girls on the team, so communication is always something we can work on. That’s just in our personalities. Some of them are very quiet spoken, and I’ve just got to get them out of that,” she said.
Stuckwisch topped the Cougars in kills with 14, and Hill had 13.
At 7:30 p.m. Thursday, the Cougars (28-4) will play Crothersville in the Orleans Sectional.
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