While the Cougars grabbed a 7-3 lead in the early going of game one, game two was the real killer, with the North leading 22-18 late, before the Stars stormed back, ultimately winning 26-24. The Cougars didn't even trail in the game until it was 25-24. Coach Michelle Spencer said the inability to close is a troubling issue for her team.
"We're still working out the kinks of winning against good teams when you're up," Spencer said. "I mean, that second game... there's really no excuse in my mind when you're up that much and not be able to finish."
After coming back in each of the first two games, WeBo made the game their own in number three, taking the lead at 3-2 and never looking back on the way to a 25-18 victory to clinch the match.
In spite of the three-game loss, the Cougars played with the Stars for long stretches of the match. They just could not pull out the points when they really needed them.
Surveying the play of both teams, Spencer complemented the hitting of the Stars, and said her team struggled with the opponents' play.
"(Western Boone) had some athletes who could really hit the ball. They were pretty hard-hitting, probably the best team we've seen serving," Spencer said.
"We were just having a hard time accommodating for that," she continued. "Our passing is lacking a little bit right now, so it's something we need to work on. We just really haven't had practice in several days because we've had so many games."
The Cougars have played six matches in the last week. Additionally, they only play seven on varsity. With these factors, some might consider fatigue an issue in their struggles. Spencer discounted the fatigue factor, though.
"It's possible, but we don't use that as an excuse. That's part of what we have to do," Spencer said. "I really don't look out there and see fatigue when I see us playing. We're in pretty good shape."
Logan Doyle led the Cougars with five kills, followed by Taylor Alles and Carlye McGaughey, with four each.
Kacy Wendling set her teammates up well, collecting nine assists. McGaughey led the team with four digs, and Ashley Doyle had two service aces.
The coach said her team simply plays a tough schedule. In playing tough teams every match, they have to bring their complete game every match.
"You just have to be able to put the whole package together every night, especially when you play teams as good as we've played so far," she said. "We're not playing a wimpy schedule."
Spencer was very pleased with her team's blocking Monday night, but it showed in the score that simply blocking well was not enough.
"We had a really good night blocking, but we were struggling hitting," she said. "Every part of your game has to be on every night. You can't say it's just enough to have one thing working and not another."
Kayla Green and Alles each had two solo blocks, while Wendling has one solo and one assist block.
While the team is struggling in the early portion of the season, Spencer can see the potential. She knows she will have a much better team once it is hitting on all cylinders.
"We're trying to figure out what is working best for us, and we just can't seem to get everyone doing the same thing at the same time," she said.
"I think we have it in us, it's just pulling it out. It's a learning curve."
In the JV match, Western Boone defeated North Putnam 25-18, 25-20.
The Cougars return to action at 6 p.m. Thursday when they host Turkey Run.
At North Putnam
|Western Boone||25 26 25|
|North Putnam||12 24 18|
Kills -- L. Doyle 5, Alles 4, McGaughey 4, Tippin 2, Wendling 2
Assists -- Wendling 9, Alles 2, L. Doyle 2, McGaughey 1
Blocks -- Alles 2, Green 2, Wendling 2, Tippin 1
Aces -- A. Doyle 2, L. Doyle 1, Green 1, McGaughey 1
Digs -- McGaughey 4, Wendling 3, L. Doyle 2, Green 1, A. Doyle 1,Tippin 1
Junior varsity results
|Western Boone||25 25|
|North Putnam||18 20|
Next game -- The Cougars return to action at 6 p.m. Thursday when they host Turkey Run.