Maryville volleyball faced a tough 3-2 loss to Class 5 opponent Rock Bridge Oct. 6 at the ’Hound Pound.
The Spoofhounds picked up a non-conference matchup with Rock Bridge, who went into the matchup with an 11-1-1 record. The Spoofhounds went into the matchup with a 12-1 record on the season.
Rock Bridge traveled up from Columbia, Missouri, which is something out of the ordinary during these times of COVID-19.
“Coming into this match, I felt we are a pretty evenly matched team,” Maryville coach Miranda Mizera said. “This was the first time we did a scouting report and our girls were able to learn what it means to key in on certain players.”
The ’Hounds faced a team with similar skill sets as them, which meant for a strong defensive game on both sides. The ’Hounds took the first set 25-14 behind a dominant offensive showing by seniors outside hitter Serena Sundell and setter Macy Loe.
The Spoofhounds came out in the second set with some miscommunication. The ’Hounds were all over the court and couldn’t seem to find the right rotation to be able to put things together.
“I think Rock Bridge came out stronger in the second set,” Sundell said. “We got stuck in too many rotations and let them go on runs, which hurt us.”
After dropping the second set, the Spoofhounds were able to stay calm and collected for the third. It was a back and forth set, with each team having momentum. It was a matter of who could go on one final scoring spree.
With each point going back and forth, one team had to win by two points. The ’Hounds finished the set with a win of 28-26.
Going into the final two sets, the Bruins found more of the court than the ’Hounds could. Both teams found certain spikes and blocks to provide confidence, but Rock Bridge was the hotter team in the end.
“I think our team managed the long game pretty well, and we were able to put the ball down and make plays, even in the last two sets,” Sundell said. “They were just able to find our side of the court more than we were able to find theirs.”
The last two sets ended with the Bruins winning 25-15 and 15-11, respectively. The ’Hounds did not seem to give in to the Bruins, making them earn what they got. With a 5-0 run by Maryville in the middle of the set, their hopes looked high, but only to be shut down by a 4-0 run by the Bruins to close out the set.
“I don’t think the last two sets had to do with skill or fatigue from the past week,” Mizera said. “We were just not as crisp on a few string of plays and got in our own heads.”
Going into the rest of the regular season and the playoffs, the Spoofhounds feel that this game was a good learning opportunity for them. They feel they will not be facing another team of this caliber for the rest of the year.
“Those girls gave us real competition, which we haven’t seen in our past few games,” senior libero Klarysa Stolte said. “We definitely needed this to prepare for districts and sectionals.”
The ’Hounds head into the later part of the year having four more games before moving onto the postseason. Their next matchup is against Benton Oct. 8 in St. Joseph, Missouri.
“We are hoping for some fan guidelines to change so we can have more excitement at our games,” Mizera said. “On our side of the net, we look forward to putting together a solid game and learn from each matchup.”