Pack spikers get served|Volleyball team’s woes continue

Published 7:19 pm Wednesday, September 29, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
What started out as a respectable performance rapidly took a turn south as the Washington volleyball was swept 25-20, 25-9, 25-3 by Jacksonville on Tuesday.
Washington won its first game in three years over a month ago, but has not been able to duplicate that success since and has struggled mightily.
On Tuesday, the Pam Pack showed some fight as it battle back from a 21-14 deficit and cut the Cardinals’ lead to 22-19 before falling 25-20.
From there, the heart that was displayed earlier was gone and replaced with heartache as Washington was embarrassed on its home court over the span of the next two games.
“The first game we played really well, we came back from a deficit of eight or nine points,” Washington coach Tara Hunter said. “The games after that we just gave up, lost momentum; we weren’t in it anymore.”
After tying Jacksonville (11-3, 5-3) at 4-4 in the second game, Washington allowed nine straight points, with at least half as a result of not being able to return serves that were hit in the middle of the court.
Washington was able to tack of a few points and cut the Cardinals’ lead to 18-8, but Jacksonville stepped on the gas and out-scored the Pam Pack 7-1 down the stretch.
“We couldn’t pass the serve and we couldn’t serve,” Hunter said.
It got worse.
Washington completely collapsed in third game as Coastal Conference foe Jacksonville scored 14 straight unanswered points to start the match. Washington only mustered three points total as it fell 25-3.
Timeouts were called and other attempts were made by the Pam Pack to right the ship but the results did not change.
When asked if she had lost her team Hunter replied, “No, I don’t feel that we have lost it. We have had to redirect our focus with other things that have gone on with the team. The first game shows me that we have turned a corner. It may not have been as big of a corner as I was hoping for, but we still turned and are doing all right. We still have a lot to do, but we are getting there.”
Despite the outcome the Pam Pack got a solid effort from a handful of players, most notably Robin Lilley. The Washington middle hitter had missed the previous month due to a shoulder injury and looked sharp in her debut.
“She hyper-extended and pulled her rotator cuff and they think that she might have torn it,” Hunter said. “But she has done some physical therapy and said she was all right to play. … Robin lives, breathes and dies volleyball and that’s great. Dedication is what we need.”
Aside from Lilley, Alex Everette, Sydney Gurkin, Michelle Hodges and Haley Hiatt all performed well.
The Pam Pack will be back in action on Thursday at West Craven.