It took three games for it to arrive, but arrive it did as the Eagles split four best-of-three rounds during the Eagle Volleyball Invitational.
The morning draw saw the Eagles drop matches to Turkey Run 18-25 and 22-25, as well as to North Central (Farmersburg) 9-25 and 14-25. After a break in the action, South Putnam got win No. 1 after knocking off North Vermillion in three games, 25-18, 21-25 and 25-17, and finished the day off on a high by sweeping South Vermillion 26-24 and 25-23.
Games one and two saw South Putnam a step behind at times to both opponents as the Eagles were not able to put away scoring opportunities and often aided both the Warriors and Thunderbirds with points from self-induced errors.
For coach Lindsay Blackman, the results were as split as the times of the games.
"I didn't like our start. It was a very slow first two games, not intense, not playing together, made our own mistakes. I wasn't happy with that," Blackman said. "It was our first time playing with everyone together and it takes time to read each other and be comfortable with each other."
"The first two games we did not play our game. We'd already seen Turkey Run in the scrimmage, knew what to expect, knew they'd be scrappy, knew they'd be all over the floor, keep the ball in play and didn't do what we needed to do. We didn't attack and we knew we needed to because they would be scrappy. We just didn't perform like we needed to."
"That carried over to the second came. We stayed down, didn't play well. This whole morning, we learned a lot from our mistakes, but it wasn't a very successful morning," Blackman stated.
The break between the four contests aided the Eagles immensely, allowing them to refuel and rehydrate as conditions Saturday morning were hot and muggy, only broken up slightly by several fans scattered about the gym floor.
The time off did wonders as South Putnam rallied late in the third set to notch its first win of the season against North Vermillion. South Vermillion would also fall in a tight, back-and-forth contest.
"The good thing about today (Saturday) was the afternoon. It was a completely different game. We came out with the intensity we needed, finished plays, kept our own errors down and had fun. We play so much better when we have fun," Blackman noted.
Capping off the six matches this week with two wins, the Eagles won't see any competition for a little while.
"The good thing is we have a week off. We'll have a week to work through things, to watch film and teach the girls how to watch film and really study themselves," Blackman said. "They'll figure out how they can improve themselves. We're kind of excited to have this week, especially since we're all back together again. It was fun to get out here today, but it'll be better to have this week where we can really practice together for a week."
At South Putnam
Eagle Volleyball Invitational (South Putnam results only)
South Putnam 18 22
Turkey Run 25 25
South Putnam 9 14
North Central 25 25
South Putnam 25 21 25
North Vermillion 18 25 17
South Putnam 26 25
South Vermillion 24 23