The Greater Miami Conference has a new leader, but it’s not Mason.
The Comet volleyball team took on Lakota East last night in a match-up that would determine the new conference leader. After five sets with scores of 25-17, 23-25, 25-23, 17-25, and 15-8, the Thunderhawks emerged victorious.
The Comets struggled to find their rhythm during the first set, resulting in a series of dropped balls and hits into the net. While the girls eventually tied it up, it wasn’t enough to make up for lost ground: East gained seven consecutive points, and the first set was theirs. According to head coach Tiann Myer, nerves and the team’s inexperience led to a shaky start.
“I think that they were a little nervous coming out,” Myer said. “We’re a very young team, so starting off they know that it’s a big hype.”
During the second set, things started to turn around for Mason. The athletes were more aggressive at the net and forced East to use both timeouts. According to Myer, the change can be accredited to the girls being more focused.
“We bounced back because we realized we could play with them,” Myer said. “We started focusing a little bit more on our game versus what they were doing, and things just started coming together for us in that second game.”
Mason hung with Lakota throughout the third set, but a few controversial calls ruled in East’s favor allowed East to take it 25-23. The two teams were point for point during the fourth set, but Mason pulled away after a series of kills and ended the set 25-17 with an ace. The deciding set was all Lakota. Mason exhausted both timeouts, but the breaks weren’t enough to prevent Lakota East from taking the match-deciding set, 15-8.
Myer said she was impressed with her team’s performance, and with only four returning varsity players, her young team has a lot of potential.
“Overall, it was a really good night,” Myer said. “I know the potential’s there; the talent’s there and they really showed that, so I was extremely happy with how we played.”
With the defeat, Mason’s undefeated GMC record is no longer intact, but Myer said with more than a month of volleyball left to be played, nothing is set in stone.
“If we keep playing the way we do, they might end up losing one; we could tie,” Myer said. “We’ll put together what we need to and then focus more on the post-season.”
Photo by: Blake Nissen