ROACHDALE -- North Putnam volleyball coach Jill Schreiber didn't pull any punches after the Cougars fell to Monrovia, 25-19, 25-19, 25-21, Tuesday in a West Central Conference match on their floor.
"We played horrible, I'm not going to lie about it," Schreiber said. "This was a match we should have won. We didn't come to play. This is a team that has a lot of talent, but we didn't bring it tonight."
There were some extenuating circumstances that caused the Cougars (2-4 WCC) to play out of sync. North Putnam strongside hitter Katie Welch missed the match to attend her grandmother's funeral in California.
Schreiber tried to fill her position with Bethany Wiatt, but taking her out of the libero spot weakened the back line too much. Schreiber returned Wiatt to libero partway through the match, but then had problems filling the role usually held by Welch.
"We had people in different positions," Schreiber said. "I need to find a player for the two position. We changed our libero, Bethany Wiatt, to it, but we need her too much on the back line. She pretty much runs the back line. She's my leader on the back row and Katie is the leader on the front row and it affected the girls.
"I'm disappointed in them. I didn't think any of our players played well. They're disappointed in themselves, too. You could see it when I walked into the locker room. They know they should have played better. They didn't play to their expectations."
North Putnam made a valiant attempt at turning the tide in the third game.
The Cougars took command early, leading 13-2 and 15-10, but the Bulldogs (7-16, 3-2 WCC) went on a 5-0 run to take a 19-17 lead.
The Cougars never got closer than two after that.
Coach Jordan Hopper thought it was one of Monrovia's best performances this year.
"Our back row was getting everything up and our front row was putting everything down," Hopper said. "We haven't been getting up when we were down and we did that in the third game. Our setters (Bailee Keen, Brianna Miller) did a lot better and our front row (Brandy Whitaker, Shelby Rickelman, Sarah Bauer, Kristal Smith) played like a team.
"I'm very, very happy. It's one of the better matches we've played this season."
North Putnam hosts Greencastle in a WCC match Thursday, starting at 6 p.m.