COLFAX — Colfax-Mingo volleyball coach Michelle Grant had to get on her Tigerhawk team a few times during their South Iowa Cedar League opener on Monday night.
Grant knows her team can play much better but is having a hard time trying to figure out what makes them go.
Colfax-Mingo won the opening set against BGM but struggled in the next two sets. They played much better in the fourth set but fell a little short and the Bears went back to Brooklyn with a four-set win.
BGM won the match 19-25, 25-17, 25-13, 28-26 and improved to 2-8 on the season. It was the conference opener for both teams.
“We won the first set and that meant to them that we were going to win and they were going to lose and let us win,” Grant said.
After the third set, Grant took her team behind closed doors for a private chat. The Tigerhawks (1-6 overall, 0-1 in the SICL) responded with a much better fourth set, but it wasn’t enough to force a fifth game.
“I tried just about every coaching tactic that I could think of,” Grant said. “I tried in the second and third set to be the ‘we got this, let’s just reset’ coach. That wasn’t working. So we had a private chit chat behind closed doors.”
The Tigerhawks controlled the first set after back-to-back kills by freshman Caylee Cunningham that put C-M up 12-6.
The closest BGM (2-8, 1-0) got the rest of the way was 21-19.
The Tigerhawks pulled away for the win following a kill by sophomore Kyra Lester, back-to-back kills by sophomore Morgan Van Dyke and a lift violation by BGM.
BGM scored the first four in the second set and eventually led 8-1. The Tigerhawks got within 11-7 on a kill by sophomore Avery Rague, but couldn’t overcome the slow start.
“My message after the match was that our maturity needs to improve,” Grant said. “We have some young kids out there, but they need to mature as fast as they can.”
A pair of aces by Lester pushed the Tigerhawks out to a 3-0 lead in the third set. But BGM responded by outscoring C-M 25-10 the rest of the way. BGM led 9-6 before closing out the set with a 16-7 run.
The Bears got out in front 13-8 in the fourth, but the hosts went on a 10-0 run to take an 18-13 lead. During that stretch, junior Chelsey Temple, Lester and Van Dyke had kills and junior Kira Warrick had a pair of aces.
“That run was simply our girls deciding that the ball was not going to touch the floor,” Grant said. “I had girls flying all around the court.”
The Bears scored five in a row to tie it at 18-all. Van Dyke put down two more kills to put her team up 21-19. The set was tied five times down the stretch. Colfax-Mingo had set point at 26-25 but lost the next three points to lose the set and match.
Van Dyke and Lester both had double-doubles. Van Dyke finished with 12 kills and 28 digs, while Lester collected 23 assists and 18 digs.
Warrick chipped in 27 digs, was 21-for-21 in serves and had four aces. Lester was 15-of-15 in serves with two aces and freshman Carley Underwood also had a pair of aces. Cunningham tallied seven kills.
Eight different players had at least two kills for the Tigerhawks, but their team kill percentage was only 0.027.
“Part of our maturity is knowing that we can’t hit the ball to the same spots just because it worked once,” Grant said. “The other team is going to adjust and not let you keep hitting to the same place.”
Colfax-Mingo returns to SICL action against HLV at 7 p.m. on Thursday in Victor.