In an attempt to neutralize the season series against an infamous conference foe, Maryville volleyball failed to do so, losing to the Lafayette Fighting Irish 3-2 Sept. 30.
In a highly-anticipated match between two of the top teams in MSHSAA’s Class 3, the Irish were the ones to strike first in what was the first meeting between the two programs Sept. 19. Much like the first time, Lafayette hit the ground running in the Sept. 30 matchup, taking an early advantage on the scoreboard.
Lafayette senior middle hitter Tarrin Deayon and sophomore outside hitter Khiani Jackson were able to start on top with a steady attack on the Spoofhounds. Lafayette took a quick 10-6 lead in the set.
As the set went on, the Spoofhounds were able to piece together a run of their own that eventually knotted the match up at 16. The ‘Hounds were able to take the first set, but communication and mental mistakes have been an issue coach Miranda Foster has addressed over the past couple weeks.
“We need to be better at putting the ball on the court,” Foster said. “We missed too many serves in general, by doing that we aren’t giving ourselves an opportunity.”
Some mistakes hurt Maryville more than others throughout the night. Despite the ‘Hounds winning the first set, they found themselves in a battle at the net early in the second set. This was a battle that the Irish controlled because of the outside hitting duo of Jackson and junior Lauren Adams.
Throughout the second set, the Spoofhounds found themselves trailing and weren’t able to become a real threat to the Irish. The ‘Hounds were only able to cut the deficit down to two points in the second half of the set.
Trailing 23-19, Foster called a timeout to try and regroup her team’s composure. That pause in the action was not enough for the ‘Hounds as they were unable to complete the comeback, leaving Lafayette with a 25-21 win in set two.
In the third set, the Spoofhounds were able to flip the script and momentum of the match itself. Junior middle hitter Serena Sundell and senior middle hitter Brooke Katen were able to take over with aggressive attacks towards a fatigued Lafayette team.
Maryville went on to play their most complete set to that point of the game, taking a 17-11 lead over the Irish. The ‘Hounds would cling to their lead and eventually take the set 25-19. As both teams headed into the fourth set, Foster and Lafayette’s coach Callie Smith went to their benches for some fresh legs in the game.
“A part of me wanted to keep our starters fresh, but I also wanted to give some of the younger players some good looks, and I think they did a great job of the role they were put in,” Foster said.
Foster added how important it was for the younger players to get playing time for when they're needed in the future.
In the fourth set, freshmen Rylee Vierthaler and Kennedy Kurz found plenty of playing time. The Spoofhounds stuck with the Irish despite the youth that they presented on the court. The set was a back and forth affair with each team not willing to give an inch, the largest lead of the set was three points.
At 22-19, the Hounds took a timeout to try and regroup themselves. The pause sparked the Spoofhounds into collecting five of the next seven points, which tied the set at 24. The Irish fought their way to the final two points of the set to win 26-24.
In the fifth and final set, the Spoofhounds looked to be in solid position to win the match, as they got up 6-2 early on. As the action played on, Lafayette found a way to chip away at the deficit and eventually come away with a 16-14 win.
Junior libero Klarysa Stolte said the team was frustrated because they wanted revenge and knew Lafayette would come out playing its best game. Maryville moved to 8-2 on the season after the loss. They Spoofhounds will look to get back into the winning column when they play host to the Savannah Savages Oct. 3.
“(Lafayette) is pretty good at being on at all times. Sometimes, whenever you fight and fight it just comes down to who has the better skill,” Stolte said. “Although we still think we have the better skill, it just didn’t end up for us in the end because we shut down.”