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Sun Sports Writer
The WC Commanderettes volleyball team (11-5) got overpowered by the Elizabethtown Lady Panthers (11-5) this past Monday night, losing in two sets by scores of 25-20 and 25-9.
While the Command-erettes have typically been a slow-starting team this season, assistant coach Casey Mudd was pleasantly surprised when her team started rolling to a quick start.
“I thought that our hitters came on strong in the beginning,” Mudd said, “and we were serving really well at the beginning of the game.”
WC was able to hang around on the strength of those two areas, but Mudd noticed that “the defense started to get in a slump.”
“We had no defense on the back rows,” Mudd said. “We were just letting balls drop when we should have been picking them up.”
After a close first set, WC came out hot to start off the second, jumping out to a quick six-point lead. That lead soon slipped away, though. And so did the game and match, with Elizabethtown sprinting to a 16-point win.
Mudd attributed the loss, for the most part, to the Commanderettes’ lack of intensity.
“They have to stay aggressive from 0 to 25, and they can’t check out in between,” Mudd said.
The Commanderettes, who have dropped three of their last four, traveled to Mercer County on Tuesday after press time. Their next two games will be a road game against Bethlehem on Thursday and a home contest versus East Jessamine next Monday.
WC picked up a four-set road win against the Anderson County Lady Bearcats last week.
Victory didn’t look so certain for the Commanderettes in the first set, dropping it to the Bearcats by a score of 25-15. The 10-point loss lit a fire under the team, according to Head Coach Anne Mudd, and WC cruised to a 25-9 victory in the second set.
“I think the girls realized after the first game that they were surprised at themselves,” Mudd said. “When they came into the huddle, we just pointed out what they needed to work on, what they needed to do.”
The Commanderettes maintained their momentum from there, taking the next two sets by the same score, 25-19.
“In those second, third and fourth games, we came out and played like the team we know we are,” Mudd said. “We just had girls out there who were ready to play. That’s the team we need to show up for each and every game.”
With the loss, Anderson dropped to 6-4 on the season.
This was no ordinary loss for the Commanderettes.
Last week, they hosted long-time rivals Marion County for the teams’ only matchup this year—opponents that, until now, played two times each season—in a highly anticipated contest.
And the match lived up to its billing.
The games were even closer than the five-set Marion win would indicate. Marion took the first game by a narrow margin, coming away with a 25-23 victory.
Marion also prevailed in the next game by a score of 25-17.
“Sometimes the girls come out, and they don’t realize they’ve got to take it at the beginning instead of trying to take it at the end,” Mudd said.
With their backs against the wall, the Commanderettes answered the call with two straight victories, winning by scores of 25-16 and 25-18.
Mudd believes this resilience was brought on because the girls figured out they needed to “step up their games.”
It appeared that Washington was on its way to a victory—and bragging rights—with momentum on their side, but Marion turned the tides and pulled out a tightly contested 15-13 victory for the set and match.
“That was just a match we didn’t finish,” Mudd said. “Unfortunately, when we realized we were here to play, we just came up short.”
Marion improved to 3-1 with the win.