Lack of talking hurts Bruins

The Rock Bridge volleyball team had won four straight matches but reverted to bad habits.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:34 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

The Rock Bridge girls’ volleyball team nearly had an accident during warmups, but players narrowly averted the pregame collision.

It didn’t get much better than that for the Bruins, who lost to the Hermann Bearcats 25-15, 25-17.

A lack of communication on the court has been the most consistent problem for Rock Bridge (6-3) this season. Last week the team had a long meeting about how it could communicate better on the court. The talk resulted in the Bruins playing well and winning four matches to take the Rock Bridge Tournament on Saturday.

But the Bruins reverted to their silent ways on Tuesday and it hurt all facets of their game.

“We didn’t really seem to trust each other,” said Amanda Hanson, a senior middle blocker. “It’s like we’re not really clicking together as a team.”

Only Hanson, who the lone Bruin to record more than one kill, was able to hit the ball effectively. She recorded eight of the Bruins’ 11 kills.

The lack of communication on the court resulted in the Bruins’ inability to pass the ball effectively in the match. Junior setter Lindsey McDaniel had all four of the Bruins’ assists and spent most of her time in the net, futilely trying to set the ball.

She stressed how important it was for the team to start communicating like they did Saturday.

“We have some really quiet girls on our team,” McDaniel said.

The inability to communicate effectively while receiving serves also cost the Bruins plenty of points. Rock Bridge’s offense keys on receiving a serve cleanly to start its passing game and it was unable to receive well all night.

Hermann coach Linda Birk’s strategy of trying to keep the Bruins out of position on receiving serves paid off. She said the plan was to keep the Bruins off-balance to negate their taller hitters. The Tigers (8-3) had four aces in the first game.

“That set the tempo for the whole first game,” Birk said.

Bruins coach Beth Newton said the team would have to learn quickly from this loss because Rock Bridge plays a tough Hickman team on Thursday at home.

“I guess communication is a part of (why we lost),” Newton said. “We’re still looking for the right combination of who is going to go out and give us their all the whole time.”

McDaniel said the team’s miscommunications and poor play has left her searching for answers.

“I have no idea what’s holding us back,” McDaniel said. “We can do everything in practice and it’s like when we get out there for a game we screw it up and I don’t know what it’s going to take. But I hope it happens soon.”

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