GARNETT — The Iola Fillies hit the road on Tuesday to face off with two of their conference rivals in Garnett.
The Fillies lost to both Santa Fe Trail and Anderson County in straight-sets as they struggled to establish a consistent offensive attack against either team.
“The teams that we played were probably two of the top four teams in our league,” Iola coach Jeff Fehr said. “Sometimes we rise to that challenge and are able to play with them, but sometimes we just sit back and play too passive. It was one of those nights where we just played passive.”
The first opponent for Iola was Santa Fe Trail. Iola sophomore Piper Moore got her team off to a great start in the early stages of the match with two-straight kills to put Iola in front 3-2.
The talented Charger squad answered quickly though and with freshman Marrit Mead serving, they rattled off seven straight points to grab control of the match, 9-3.
The lead eventually grew to 15-4 before a Moore kill, followed by an ace, helped cut the lead to single digits again at 15-7. That was as close as Iola would get in the first set, however, and the Chargers cruised to a 25-10 victory.
The second set was closer than the first, but followed a familiar pattern in the early going.
Another Moore kill tied the set for the Fillies at 5-5, but then the Chargers were able to go on another big run.
“There are moments that we show what we can do,” Fehr said. “There are times when we just take it. You always want to be on the offensive instead of just having people constantly hit at you.”
With Santa Fe Trail junior Piper Johnson on the serve, the Chargers went on a nine-point run to push the lead to 14-5.
“It is hard to coach aggressiveness, but I’ve seen them have it at times,” Fehr said. “It can be a little frustrating, but every coach deals with that.”
Iola senior Riley Murry had an emphatic kill to cut the margin to 15-9, but that was as tight as the Chargers let it get as they kept the Fillies at arm’s length and won the second set, 25-17.
In their second match, the Fillies had to face host school Anderson County.
The match went back and forth with the Bulldogs holding the lead, but Iola stayed within striking distance until they fell victim to another big run.
After a Moore kill cut the Anderson County lead to 15-12, the Bulldogs were able to put the Fillies away with a 10-1 run to end the set and give them the 25-13 first set victory.
The second set followed the same pattern as the first. Iola was never able to take the lead, but they hung around the match until a Bulldog run knocked them out of it.
“Anderson County gave us a lot of points, but we didn’t really do anything with it,” Fehr said.
With the score 9-7, Anderson County mounted an 11-2 outburst and snatched a 20-9 lead.
The Fillies tried to rally behind a kill and an ace by junior Colbi Riley, but it wasn’t enough and Anderson County took the set and the match 25-16.
Despite the losses, Fehr said he was pleased with the performances of Sydney Wade and Chloe Gardner.
“Sydney has improved her serving and she is feeling a little bit more confident with it,” Fehr said. “Chloe had a good night with her receiving.”
Iola drops to 7-11 on the season.
The Iola junior varsity finished the night with a 1-1 record.
They were able to beat Anderson County in three sets.
The Fillies won the first set 25-22 and the Bulldogs responded with a 25-18 second set win.
Iola clinched the match with a 15-12 third-set victory.
The Fillies fell in their first match of the night to Santa Fe Trail, 25-19 and 25-12.
The Iola freshmen matched the junior varsity’s performance by beating Anderson County in three sets.
They won the first set 25-18 and dropped the second set 25-17, before winning the third set 15-13.
The Fillies lost to Santa Fe Trail 15-13.