Maryville lost a heartwrencher to KC Lutheran at the Bishop LeBlond Volleyball Invitational championship Saturday at Grace Gymnasium, with the 10-hour day culminating in a 2-0 loss to a team that they had beaten hours earlier in pool play.
“It’s bittersweet, because we played them earlier and beat them with a pretty good handle on the game,” Spoofhounds coach Miranda Foster said after the game. “This second time around we made a couple too many errors, but it’s alright. We have a few things to learn and we’re gonna grow every single match and that’s what I ask the girls to do.
After beating them in set scores of 25-20 and 25-19, Maryville (13-3) failed to finish against first-ranked KC Lutheran (17-3-3) in games of 27-25 and 25-23.
Maryville junior Serena Sundell, who led the team in kills against Lutheran with nine, emphasized there’s no such thing as giving in to fatigue.
“It is hard, but you have to find a way,” Sundell said. “There’s no way to not have energy and play volleyball or else you’re just not gonna do very well, so we try to find a way.”
On the difference between the two meetings, Sundell talked about how far apart the two games were played at opposite points of the tournament.
“It was a morning game, maybe they weren’t quite ready to go or we were a little more fired up but it was just that energy later, more competitiveness from them,” Sundell said. “Second place (is) great, it really is, but we know we can compete with that team a bit more. It shows that we can be good but also still have a lot of things we need to work on.
To get to the championship the Spoofhounds had to go through Bishop LeBlond (10-5) in the semifinal, who took the first set 25-23 before the Spoofhounds turned it on and won by more than five points both of the succeeding two sets.
LeBlond played Savannah in the consolation game to determine the tournament’s third-place winner, where the Eagles too suffered a nail-biting loss that was ended when Savannah won a 30-28 third set.
Overall though, the hosts of the tournament don’t feel too bad about their day.
“I’m really optimistic because we played really gritty in pool play. Against Oak Grove, against Midway, we had to fight really hard to get in the second position of our pool so that we could advance in the bracket,” LeBlond coach Kimberly Huss said. “We got fourth place, and it’s a bummer to get that after such a long day, but when you watch kids give everything they have and play as hard as they can you can’t be so upset about that.”
Crossing the midway mark of the season, all teams involved want to make sure they can keep up the energy for the postseason.
“I feel like I’ve prepared them mentally, we have a tough schedule coming up but they understand that there are some tiring weeks ahead of us,” Foster said. “But I feel like they all love the sport so much that their mental game will persevere through that.”