After a tight encounter at the Carl Albert Titan Invitational last week, Chickasha's match with Shawnee at home on Tuesday was expected to be a similar affair.
Something, however, just did not click, and the No. 8 Lady Wolves (7-5) ran out 3-0 winners (25-19, 25-16, 25-20). Head coach Nancy Waters described the evening as "frustrating."
"After we played them so close at Carl Albert, they said 'Oh, we've got them on Tuesday,'" Waters said. "I know they wanted to play them again. It just didn't seem to happen tonight. They're frustrated with it, too. They know they didn't play well and that they can play better."
Chickasha (8-9), ranked 14th in the OSSAA 5A standings, took the lead in all three games only to be pinned back by Shawnee's response. They used timeouts effectively, coming out more determined and immediately seizing momentum.
But as Waters pointed out, much of the Lady Chicks' damage was self-inflicted. In serving, an area in which they normally excel, Chickasha had an even night, with eight total aces and eight errors. Kill percentages were relatively low.
Shawnee pulled away after an even start to the first game, and once at 18-15 never looked back. But game two began much differently, with a seemingly revitalized Chickasha bursting out to an 8-1 lead.
A timeout is all it took. The Lady Wolves came back to take an 18-16 lead and close out the final seven points. Another Lady Chicks lead at 13-8 and again at 19-17 looked to prolong the match in game three. An 8-1 run by Shawnee prevented that from happening.
All the usual contributors were there for Chickasha, but the numbers were lower than usual. Senior Chloe Reyes finished with eight kills and five digs, while junrio Mikala Harris was right behind her with six dills and four of the team's eight aces. Libero Elizabeth Wilson led the team with eight digs, while senior Alei Gann had five digs and eight assists. Luz Juarez finished with six assists and six digs.
"I can't complain about our defense," Waters said. "There's not an explanation as to why; sometimes that just happens. When we got down 2-0, that's not a good thing for us."
Waters also noted a lack of energy from the team, and while the volleyball and road trips have come hard and fast in the past few weeks, she doesn't feel as though tiredness had anything to do with it.
A week-long home stand plus the Chickasha Tournament on Saturday ensures the Lady Chicks at least get to spend much-wanted times within the confines of home and get an immediate opportunity to answer back.