After battling to a two-point first-set loss, the Hall volleyball team ran out of steam in the second set Tuesday in its Three Rivers Conference South Division season opener against Kewanee.
Turns out, the Lady Boilermakers were just getting warmed up as they capitalized to take a 25-23, 25-13 win over Hall in a hot and steamy Red Devil Gymnasium.
Mental miscues and hitting troubles plagued Hall (1-9, 0-1 TRC South) throughout the second set. The Lady Red Devils committed eight hitting errors and were never able to gain traction as Kewanee led from the start and rolled to the double-digit win.
“One thing we have really struggled with this year is our mentality,” Hall coach Megan Nation said. “We play well together as a team, we get up and we get excited. Then we get a couple of errors against us and just fall apart.
“That’s something that we’ve had going since Day 1, and to be honest, we don’t really know how to fix it or what to do about it. But that’s the way our team is, we’re a very, very mental team.”
The Lady Red Devils showed some fight in the first set as the teams played nearly point-for-point in the early goings.
Hall took a 14-13 lead on an ace from senior Vanessa Olivares, before Kewanee rallied for the next four next points to take a 17-14 advantage.
Hall battled back to knot things up at 22-22 on a kill from senior Kayla Musgrave, and again at 23-23 with another Musgrave kill that stalled on the top of the net and then dropped on the Kewanee side.
But Kewanee put things away with the next two vollies, ending the contest with a kill from junior Sam Siemers from back at the basketball free throw line for the 25-23 margin of victory.
Ellie Herrmann led Hall with six kills, while Gerrard added four. Olivares doled out 10 assists to go with three aces and three digs, while Brenna Faletti led the way with nine digs.
“The couple of times we’ve played (well) this season we’ve had spurts where we’ll go out and fight and push. It’s just one little thing clicks and we fall,” Nation said. “I think we’re a good team and we deserve to win - I really do think that. Our mentality just has to change.”
“I’m proud of them, they do work hard. They have it in them, they just have to keep it, they can’t lose it (mentally).”
Note: The Hall sophomores team won its contest 25-23, 28-26.
Chris Yucus can be reached at 220-6995 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsChris.