At their home court on Thursday, Sept. 20th, Eagle Point’s varsity volleyball team lost three out of four sets to the visiting Crater Comets. They won the second set, and lost the others. Final scores were 23-25, 25-22, 22-25, and 17-25.
The JV and freshman Eagles suffered similar fates. JV lost in two sets with the scores 14-25, and 17-25. Freshman lost the second two sets after winning he first, by scores of 25-17, 22-25, and 1-15.
Assistant coach, Hannah Mannenbach, said of her freshman team, “They’re all extremely talented girls. They’ll play amazing one set, and then in the second set they’ll play down to their opponent’s level, which really gets them in the end.”
From this game, it appears the same diagnosis applies equally well to the varsity team. Their first three sets were closely fought, with neither team taking too strong a lead at any time. And, their talent is obvious. Kelly Brawner got 19 digs, and Brianna Shopp followed suit with 15 digs of her own. Kinsey Bradshaw had 6 blocks at the net, and served two aces in a row during the second set. Taylor Bidwell spiked a cool 8 kills. Hannah Morris set 11 assists, and McKenzee Parker got 7 digs with 9 assists.
The Comets were no slouches either. Their senior libero, Maddie Layton, could charge for defensive lessons. Eagles JV coach, Brittany Reynolds, said “Crater didn’t let anything drop, and we had to work to make something hit the ground.”
But, the real difference in this game was Crater’s ability to continue playing toward victory, even when they were trailing on the scoreboard. At certain times, especially during the fourth set, the Eagles allowed minor mistakes to grow into a greater sense of discouragement, which slowed all of them down.
“That’s going to be the biggest lesson learned,” Eagles head coach Beth Bilden said. “When it comes down to it, it was just little mental errors.”
The Eagles played at the Rogue Valley Classic tournament on Saturday, Sept. 22nd, and will visit Grants Pass High school on Tuesday, Sept. 25th. Their next chance to win at home is on Thursday, Sept. 27th against South Medford High School.