Spikers swept by Braves, now in do or die spot

(L-R) Emma Burgess, Sarah Dacquisto and Nina Mutty react to a mishit ball Tuesday against Bishop Blanchet. - John Becerra Jr./Staff Photo
(L-R) Emma Burgess, Sarah Dacquisto and Nina Mutty react to a mishit ball Tuesday against Bishop Blanchet.
— image credit: John Becerra Jr./Staff Photo

It’s a frustrating time for the Bainbridge volleyball team.

After their sweep of Cleveland Sept. 24, the Spartans have been swept in the last five outings.

Their latest loss was to Bishop Blanchet Tuesday as the Braves defeated them by the scores of 17-25, 23-25 and 16-25.

While head coach Julie Miller said that youth and inexperience is a factor – Bainbridge has no seniors and only three girls with varsity experience – she also said there are problems with the competitive fire on the team.

“I think some people are afraid to compete all the way,” she said. “They compete to a certain point, but when it gets super hard, they’re withdrawing. I think at other levels that they’ve played at, there are teams that fold, but they don’t do that in the Metro League. They just don’t.”

The Braves, who were beaten by the Spartans on Sept. 21, took advantage of mistakes made by Bainbridge to win all three games.

In the third game, the Spartans were up 8-3 thanks to some Blanchet errors and kills by Amanda Witt and Sarah Dacquisto. But after a Braves timeout, Molly Manca took over for Bishop Blanchet, scoring eight kills and a block to lead the Braves to victory.

The Spartans didn’t help themselves either by committing service errors or having communication problems leading to easy Blanchet scores.

Miller said she’s working on getting the team to understand that they can play better than they are.

“I’m trying to light a fire underneath them,” she said. “I don’t think my expectations are too high – I definitely think they can play better – but because they’re so young, after they beat Blanchet, they kinda slacked off and weren’t practicing or playing very hard.

“They’ve gotten better – we had a great practice (Monday) – but they still haven’t gotten the ‘everybody wants it as bad or as worse than you’ thing, so you have to fight for everything,” Miller continued. “They’re frustrated too because they can’t quite figure out how to get out of the slump either.”

It’s also frustrating for the team that they lost junior Cali Moore early in the season with a broken hand suffered while she was playing club softball. She won’t be back for the rest of the season.

“Not having Cali hurts us because she’s been here before,” Miller said.

Despite the loss, the team can still qualify for the Metro tournament. They need to beat Lakeside Thursday in the last game of the regular season to qualify.

“It’s a must win no matter what,” Miller said. “It’ll be interesting to see how the girls react to the pressure, so we’ll see what happens.”

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