Head coaches Kym Blankenship of Washington and Linda Lampkin of Hermann both said their respective volleyball teams weren’t at their best.
Still, the Lady Jays and the Lady Bearcats slugged it out Monday at Washington High School.
In the end, Hermann emerged with a 25-22, 25-15 victory.
“I know it’s hard to play on Monday nights. I always feel like Monday night games are not always good games,” Lampkin said.
“It’s disappointing to lose, but it’s really disappointing to not see a lot of fire in the team,” Blankenship said. “It was kind of a ho-hum game.”
Hermann (16-13) played two days earlier on Saturday at the Lebanon Tournament, dropping the third-place match to Helias.
“We played Republic, Glendale, Camdenton, Helias, some really good teams, and played really well,” Lampkin said. “Coming into tonight, I thought we were progressing. Tonight was kind of a step backwards.”
Washington (12-12-1) is still undefeated in the GAC Central with two league games remaining.
“It should excite us to play Hermann. We’re pretty equal caliber as far as we both have some big guns and we both have good defensive players,” Blankenship said. “This kind of game should’ve made us hungry because our record was at stake. Now we’re 12-12. We still have a lot to play for. It’s a little disappointing, but I think we’ll bounce back.”
The first game came down to the wire.
Washington held a 16-12 lead, thanks to four straight service points by Sarah Borgerding. Hermann came back to tie it, 16-16. The score later was tied, 20-20.
Leading 24-22, the lady Bearcats won the game on a tip by Jamie Gleeson.
In the second game, Hermann jumped to an 8-3 lead with a serving run by Gleeson, but the Lady Jays came back to tie the score, 12-12. A kill by Jenna Barnhart evened the score.
The Lady Bearcats took over from there, outscoring Washington 13-3 the rest of the way.
“We probably missed eight or nine serves. That’s not typical of us. We’ve been serving very well. We had one kid who missed three serves tonight and that’s probably more than she’s missed all year,” Lampkin said. “I think Washington has changed something since the Hermann Tournament. They were running a 6-2 tonight, which I don’t remember them doing. Maybe they did and I just don’t remember. We didn’t get to play them at our tournament.”
Blankenship said the Lady Jays did run a 6-2 at the Hermann Tournament.
“I definitely thought we played a little stronger in the first game. I came away with some pretty good strategies for the second game. We knew what they were working with and we knew who their big guns were. Their setter didn’t block a lot, we wanted to pull our right-side blocker over to try to stop No. 10 (Gleeson) and push the right corner,” Blankenship said. “We talked about it, and nothing changed. To be honest, that’s not like the team I’ve been coaching the last couple of weeks. They’ve been adjusting and adapting pretty well. In this game, it just didn’t happen.”
Erica Diener finished the match with 14 digs for Washington. Kelly Gauzy added seven digs.
Jenna Barnhart collected five kills. Olivia Strode had four kills.
Kara Herron and Amanda Vollmer both had one kill and one block.
Emily Voss and Paige Carpenter both had eight assists. Carpenter added two digs and one ace.
Lampkin was happy to leave Washington with a win.
We have plenty of things to work on, our serve receive and our passing for sure,” Lampkin said. “Jamie (Gleeson) had a nice game. She’s just very athletic. Kali (Stiers) did a decent job running around chasing our passes and setting them. She always has to work her tail off because our passing could be better. She did a nice job.”
Washington defeated Hermann in both the junior varsity and freshman matches.