CLAY CITY -- A valiant effort in a pulse pounding second game wasn't enough to put an end to the early season struggles of the Cloverdale volleyball team.
The Clovers fell to 0-4 on the young season, losing a 3-0 decision to a very good Clay City team on the road Tuesday.
The Eels (3-0) jumped all over Cloverdale, scoring the first six points of set one behind the service of Kelly McCullough. Cloverdale got within five late, aided by solid net play from Holly McCammon, but a late charge helped the Eels cruise to a 25-15 victory.
Set two was hardly such a cake walk.
In a set which saw monumental shifts in momentum, the teams battled back and forth in a contest that saw 11 ties and six lead changes.
Cloverdale went up by as many as four on two separate occasions, before Clay City battled back to go up 19-14.
The Eels didn't hold on to their momentum for long, however, as Cloverdale, aided by two clutch blocks by freshman Bradanne Toney, kept things tight, eventually resulting in a 24-24 tie.
Despite their efforts, the Clovers dropped the next two points, and the set, by a 26-24 score. Coach Alisha Polite said despite the loss, the effort put forth by her girls in game two was encouraging, as it showed the potential buried beneath the surface of her team's 0-4 record.
"Game two was (what we're capable of)," Polite said. "It's who we are capable of being."
Also aiding to Cloverdale's struggles was the absence of senior setter Kaileigh Sparks, who missed the game due to illness.
The wind seemed to be totally out of the Clovers sails in set three, as Clay City jumped out to a 10-1 lead. Cloverdale attempted a comeback, but was never able to get closer than six points, eventually falling by 25-16 decision. Polite said she was discouraged her team wasn't able to build on their solid effort from set two.
"Tonight I think we beat ourselves," Polite said. "We're still progressing, but tonight was a step back."
Though disappointed her team has yet to break the win column, Polite said she could not let her team get discouraged, as it would kill any chance they had of rectifying the 2009 campaign.
"We need to get more confident," Polite said.. "I know we can play better than we have, and it's back to work tomorrow so we can keep improving."
The Clovers JV also dropped a tough decision, losing by the tally of 25-16 and 25-24 respectively.
At Clay City
Cloverdale 15 24 16
Clay City 25 26 25