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Kewpies hope lineup change will jump-start season

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 | 9:31 p.m. CDT; updated 10:29 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Hickman senior Emily Peel reaches to make a hit in the Kewpies' match Tuesday against Helias Catholic. A lineup change at Monday's practice couldn't prevent the Kewpies from losing the match 25-11, 27-25.

COLUMBIA – The Hickman girls volleyball team knew that its match against Helias Catholic would be a struggle, but a lineup change made the match even more problematic.

The Kewpies have struggled so far this season and dropped to 3-12 after a 25-11, 27-25 loss against Helias on Tuesday night at Hickman.

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The Kewpies have talent; however, they have not quite found the right combination to translate into a strong team. With that in mind, Hickman coach Greg Gunn decided to change the lineup at the Kewpies' practice Monday evening.

Junior Kimberly Lake, who usually plays middle hitter, was moved to right-side hitter for Tuesday's match. The new position agreed with Lake, who claimed one kill and three blocks. Morgan Popejoy was also affected by the lineup change, switching from outside hitter to middle hitter. Popejoy finished with one kill and one block.

"We are hoping that the change will help us on the court," Popejoy said. "I've played middle hitter before, but not for Hickman. I think the biggest struggle for us right now is getting used to the new positions. But our usual way of doing this has not been working, so we hope that this is going to work out."

Without a significant amount of time for the team to get used to its new positions, though, there was confusion on the court early in the match. The Kewpies first game against Helias was the most frustrating. The Kewpies did not have a single kill, and  the Helias front line blocked senior Emily Peel three times. The players often collided on the court and afterward encouraged each other to communicate better.

"We knew that this game was going to be tough," Gunn said. "We just changed the lineup at the last minute, but it was necessary. We could not continue on doing the same things over and over again, and expect different results.

"We often have short periods of brilliance, followed by long intermissions of mediocrity."

Hickman's plays next at 6 p.m. Oct. 10 at home against Francis Howell Central.


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