Pam Pack shows improvement but drops rematch with Riverside

Published 5:23 pm Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Washington volleyball team proved to be a tougher opponent for Riverside yesterday, but couldn’t avoid the same fate as the teams’ first matchup last week, losing in straight sets at home, 25-20, 25-15, 25-23.

Despite the loss to Riverside (4-1), Washington (2-2) head coach Mallory Lee was pleased with her team’s improvement from the Pam Pack’s season-opening loss to the Knights. Lee pointed to Emme Davis, Kaylee Elks and Hannah Respess as players who stood out for the Pam Pack in the rematch. Washington’s first-year coach said it was “silly errors” from her team that held them back, but added the squad’s chemistry improved from a week ago.

“I think they improved from last time we met them. I think we were hitting the ball incredibly well today,” Lee said. “I think that their mental game was much stronger and I think that they played together more. I’m disappointed about the loss but I’m not disappointed in them.”

The first set saw the Knights take a 7-5 lead before the game’s first timeout. After the break, Riverside won the next four points to take control of the set. Washington slowly whittled away at the Knights’ lead and finally cut the lead to one point, making the score 19-18. Riverside responded with a 6-2 run to win the opening set, 25-20.

After playing Riverside close for much of the first set, the Pam Pack faltered in the second. Washington put itself in a hole early and couldn’t recover, losing the set, 25-15.

“We got into a little rut in the beginning that was really hard for us to dig out of,” Lee said. “We had some serving errors, and we hit three balls out in a row. We kind of got to a point where we were clawing our way back in, and it just became too much of a deficit.”

In desperate need to win a set in order to keep the match going, Washington stormed out to a 16-9 lead in the third set. Play intensified with players on both teams throwing their bodies to the floor to dig out balls and extend the point. Riverside eventually cut Washington’s lead to one point, with the score 22-21.

The Pam Pack seemed to score the next point after blocking a Riverside spike and the ball bouncing off a Knight and landing out of bounds. But the point was awarded to Riverside after the referees ruled that the blocked ball hit the net antenna, meaning the ball is considered out, before hitting the Knight player. The call seemed to throw off the Pam Pack, as it lost the next two points due to errors, and lost the final set, 25-23.