Lady Devils lose home opener

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Sports

August 30, 2018 - 10:46 AM

The Allen County volleyball team made a real breakthrough last week when they swept Labette County in Fort Scott for their first win in more than a year. Because of that, head coach Whitney Shaw and her team were optimistic heading into their home opener on Wednesday versus the same Cardinals team that they beat just days before.
Unfortunately for the Lady Devils, nearly 50 total errors kept them from adding a second win to their record as they fell to 1-4 (0-1 in KJCCC play) after getting swept by Labette, 25-16, 25-23, 25-16.
“We came out flat from the beginning,” Shaw said. “Yesterday we had a really good practice so I was really hyped up on how we were going to come out. We were almost flawless yesterday and maybe that should’ve given it away. So I told them that it was shocking that we would come out flat on our home opener.”
Labette jumped out to an early lead in set one and held that throughout.
In set two, the Lady Devils were better, hitting for a positive percentage for the only time in the match and keeping the Cardinals within their grasp.
Labette took a slight lead early but the Lady Devils were able to tie it up at 21 and 23 but missed serves that kept Allen County from stringing a run together and toppling Labette’s lead. Allen County fell 25-23 in the set.  
“We started forcing balls that weren’t there instead of being smart,” Shaw said. “We had 11 missed serves which is a lot in three sets. I don’t know if we were trying to be too aggressive or what, but we were also almost even in kills and hitting errors. That’s not going to do us any good when you wash out your errors.
“Honestly, it’s surprising that we were that close considering the number of errors that we had.”
Set three was just as tight but Labette led throughout the duration. The Lady Devils got within two at 18-16 but a 7-0 run by Labette closed out the set and the match.
Freshman Gabby Perez led the team with 12 kills and sophomore Holly Shinn had seven. Cheyanne Dube had two aces and Celymar Cabrane had 15 digs. Perez had 10 digs.
“It’s still early and compared to this point last year I still feel better,” Shaw said. “I think you can tell that we’re a better team. Our bench is pretty dang good and they keep our energy up.”
The Lady Devils will travel to Highland this weekend for a tournament before getting back in conference play next Wednesday at Cowley County. Cowley is ranked fourth in the country in Division-II.
“We just need to minimize errors,” Shaw said. “We’re going to face a big block versus Highland and Cowley so we’re going to need to be craftier when we want to score. We weren’t crafty tonight so we’ll have to step that up and that includes playing clean. That’s just the game of volleyball. Whoever makes the least amount of errors normally wins.”

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