Archive for Thursday, September 1, 2005

BHS volleyball struggles in opener

September 1, 2005

EUDORA -- An opening match win over Bonner Springs didn't propel the Baldwin High School volleyball to victory in its next two matches here Tuesday night.

The Bulldogs began their 2005 season with a 1-2 record as they battled first game jitters and mental mistakes.

"There was floor presence in the first game against Bonner Springs," coach Jim Oatman said. "Momentum dropped a bit when we played Basehor. Oh my gosh, Basehor got some height this year. Then we ran into a buzzsaw against Eudora. They are a well disciplined team and we were not in the game mentally at all."

Senior Kelsey Heckathorne thought the first matches are a good way for the team to judge how practices have gone so far.

"I think it's a good starting point in our season that will tell us what we need to work on," Heckathorne said. "Obviously, we have some strengths and more weaknesses. It gives us a feel as to where we are."

Baldwin opened the night off against Bonner Springs and was able to come away with its first victory of the season. The Bulldogs defeated Bonner Springs in three games (25-8, 12-25, 25-11).

"I thought we looked very well, very sharp," Oatman said. "Bonner looks like a young team, but we played them well."

Heckathorne said the team should have won the match in two games, but that is something it must work on.

"The first and third games we played really well and that's how we play volleyball," Heckathorne said. "The second game is our downfall because we do that no matter who we are playing. We should have had that one in two. We need to work on being there mentally both games."

Then Baldwin faced a Basehor-Linwood team that ousted the Bulldogs in two games (25-18, 25-22).

"We were fairly evenly matched, but they had the height advantage," Oatman said. "We made some mental mistakes that really cost us. We dropped some serves. You live and learn and go on with the next game."

The last match of the evening came against rival Eudora, which returns many players from last year's state team.

The Bulldogs struggled against the Cardinals as they lost 25-7, 25-12.

"We knew they were going to be tough coming in," Oatman said. "They were young last year and they only graduated one or two players. They are going to be a force in (Class) 4A to reckon with."

Oatman said the team discussed what it needs to do to improve on the season.

"We talked about it a little bit here," Oatman said. "The main thing we need to work on right now is confidence, which is something I really can't teach. It's something you either have or you don't. The other thing we need to work on is our serve receive."

The Bulldogs next match is at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Wellsville.

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