COLUMBIA — After the game, Greg Gunn buried his head in his hands and wiped the sweat and frustration from his forehead.
Gunn, the Hickman girls volleyball coach, said he knows his team has great potential with seven seniors and two juniors, but the Kewpies didn't show it in a 25-15, 25-14 loss Tuesday night to Boonville in Hickman's home opener.
“They have a lot of experience playing with each other," Gunn said. “They just fell flat. They were just not up for the game tonight. I told them it was going to be tough — they knew. You know, there is nothing that small schools like to do more than to go to bigger schools and stick it to them.”
In the first game of the night, the Kewpies did not have any serving errors. But after the frustration of the first loss, the team ended the second game with five serving errors. The Kewpies had 10 successful kills in the two games, but had also made 14 killing errors all night.
“I am not impressed with the way we played tonight," Gunn said. “We did not do anything very well.”
Emily Peel, a 6-foot senior middle hitter for the Kewpies, was just as frustrated as her coach.
“We are way better than what we showed here tonight,” said Peel, who had only three kills. “It’s so frustrating to have an off game, especially after playing so well last week (against Rolla).”
Perhaps worst of all was having members of the rival Rock Bridge volleyball team watching in the stands. The Bruins will be playing Boonville and Hickman within the next week, so some of the players were there to evaluate the competition.
“It is important to know what you are going up against,” Rock Bridge volleyball player Alexis Granneman said. “Especially with the Hickman rivalry game coming up. Everybody is looking forward to that game. It’s really important so we have to be ready.”
Hickman hosts Rock Bridge on Monday in a Pink-Out game in which the programs will sell pink T-shirts and pink corsages to raise money for cancer research.