Season-opening loss leaves Pam Pack volleyball with blueprint of what to work on

Published 8:16 pm Wednesday, August 15, 2018

WILLIAMSTON — Both positives to build upon and negatives to practice on were on display in Williamston Tuesday evening, as the Washington volleyball team dropped all three sets to a talented Riverside squad in the Pam Pack’s season opener.

Washington was able to keep the score close in the opening set, but the Pam Pack suffered a drop off as the match went on, with the Knights eventually winning 25-20, 25-9, 25-16. Washington faced off against Riverside in a scrimmage during the preseason and performed well, which Pam Pack head coach Mallory Lee theorizes gave her players a false sense of security going into Tuesday’s matchup.

“We scrimmaged them last week and we did really well. So I think we were heading into (Tuesday) night assuming that they were going to bring the same effort that they brought last week and they came out a lot stronger than they were last week,” Lee said.

Washington’s coach said she preferred opening the season with a quality opponent like Riverside, a team that’s returning nine players from last year’s squad that went 23-1 in the regular season. It provided a teaching moment for the Pam Pack.

“I enjoyed starting the season with a tougher team so that (the players) know that, even though they are talented and they are good, they do have a long way to go,” Lee said. “And they’re going to have to come into every game ready to play. We talked a lot about that (yesterday) in practice.”

The mistakes Lee saw from her team were small details that can be ironed out over time. She pointed to “specific rotational errors” and “silly errors” the Pam Pack made against the Knights that will be worked on moving forward.

But there were also positives to build upon from the match as well, including the play of Emma Tucker, Kaylee Elks and Summer Campbell on the back row.

“I thought our back-row play was good; I thought our libero (Tucker) did a great job. We had some really strong blocks, we just need to, once we get the blocks and it comes back over, finish that point,” Lee said. “We have a definite direction that we have to go towards, instead of having no idea of where we need to start working.”