CAMDEN – Mistakes would prove costly for the Tri-Village volleyball team on Monday at Preble Shawnee as the Patriots began a stretch of three matches in four days.
Teams need to attack and not let the other team get the upper hand as it is hard to play from behind on the road. Tri-Village managed to win their first set and seemed to have the upper hand.
But the Patriots squandered that momentum and lost the next two sets. They fought hard to win the fourth set and force a fifth set, but Tri-Village self-destructed and lost the deciding set. The scoring was 25-18, 17-25, 20-25, 25-21, 15-6.
The Patriots put together a nice first set in which they sparred with the Arrows and after several ties at 4-4, 8-8 and 11-11 they pulled ahead, growing a 20-14 lead. They finished strong and even after a Shawnee timeout Tri-Village kept the pedal on the metal and got that critical first win.
But Tri-Village got off to a slow start in the next set and was letting the ball hit the floor. When the score was 6-1 in favor of the Arrows, the Patriots took a timeout to get back into rhythm. But things continued to unwind, and it was 9-1 at one point. They rallied late to within five, but the Arrows surged ahead for the easy win.
The third set looked like it would be a good set for Tri-Village. This time the Patriots had the early 6-1 lead. But after a Shawnee timeout, Tri-Village got rattled and began making mistakes. Shawnee played well and took advantage of this and tied the score eventually at 13-all.
Shawnee kept going and opened a lead. The Patriots caught up and were down by one, 20-19. But after getting so close, they again made some bad passes and spiked the ball into the net, letting Shawnee get its second set.
A tenacious Patriot team took the court in the fourth set and played its most exciting set of the night. The team did change the line up and went from a two-four configuration to a one-five configuration, and this seemed to change things up.
In a repeat of the first set, the two teams traded the lead and tied a total of five times. But Shawnee built a lead of 17-11, and Tri-Village had to fight back.
The Patriots got into a groove and played with focus and intensity. They fought to a tie and the score was tied for the last time 19-all. Tri-Village scored the last points of the game in decisive fashion to force a fifth set.
However, in the last set Tri-Village lost the mojo that it had built back up in that fourth set. Tri-Village coach Christopher Brewer later said he thought that the team pressed too hard at times during the match and this was likely the cause of so many mistakes.
Although the Patriots had fought so hard to get to this point, you could feel Tri-Village’s mounting frustration as the Patriots misfired the ball into the net or set it out of bounds. They had proved that they could play with the Arrows, but on this night the ball just would not go the way that they wanted in the critical fifth set.
“We get in these little ruts in games where we give up too many points,” Brewer said. “It is really just a confidence thing. Instead of forgetting about a mistake we carry it forward to the next point. We have to focus on losing those habits.
“We did well though in that fourth game. We fell behind 17-11 and fought our way back. I was pleased with our comeback there and in the third set I think we fought back to within a point but let that one get away. We can’t allow ourselves to get into a rut and let the other team score on us. I try to let them know that it is OK to make a mistake and relax – we’ll get that point back. Make that next serve the best serve, make that next pass the best pass.
“We did juggle our lineup. We have been making changes this week and practicing them. Brie Lock and Kayla Burke came on well when we put them in – and they both did well. Edie Moore played well for us in that fourth set to force a fifth. Abbie Lipps really stepped for us as a setter. When we went to a 5-1 it was all on her, and she really stepped up.”
Tri-Village still has league matches against Newton and Mississinawa Valley this week. The Mississinawa Valley game on Thursday will be a Volley for the Cure game with part of the proceeds and sales of T-shirts and so forth will be donated to finding a cure for cancer.