Sometimes you just have to turn the page and not look back.
The Hannibal-LaGrange University volleyball team will do exactly that after a 25-19, 25-11 and 25-15 loss to Culver-Stockton College on Thursday night inside Charles Fieldhouse.
“We just didn’t execute tonight and simply were not good enough to compete,” HLGU coach Kyle Smith said. “We will just move forward. My coaching philosophy has always been a next ball mentality, just have to let it go, move on and learn from it. We will make the changes in the gym to get better.”
The Wildcats jumped out to leads of 5-1, 8-3 and 11-4 in the first set before the Trojans slowly started to chip away.
A kill by HLGU freshman Sarah Greer sparked a 6-2 spurt to get the Trojans back into the first set. Greer also accounted for the final two points of the rally to pull the visitors to within 11-13.
But two straight serving errors halted the Lady Trojans' momentum.
“A lot of our errors tonight were mental,” Smith noted. “I don’t know where the focus was tonight, but we will talk about it as a team tomorrow when we get back into the gym.”
Gabby Hickman slammed down four straight points for the Wildcats as they picked up the first set.
In the second set, the Trojans took their first lead of the match (2-1) on a kill from Taylor Fry. Fry would put another ball away later in the set for an 8-7 lead, but a hitting error tied the set and the Trojans were unable to regain any momentum the rest of the game.
The Wildcats raced out to 6-1 and 9-4 leads in the third set to set the tone.
A kill by Shelby Maupin pulled the Trojans to within 14-15, but the Wildcats finished the set on a 10-1 to complete the sweep.
Hickman (13), Monica Bumbry (11) and Paige Webster (7) combined for 31 kills for the Wildcats.
“They are a good team with some great hitters,” Smith said of Culver-Stockton’s presence in the front row. “They also have some good setters who distribute the ball well and quickly. They did a nice job of keeping our blockers off our game tonight.”
Freshmen Maggie Vert and Greer paced the Trojans attack with seven and six kills, respectively.
“We have some freshmen who can contribute and Maggie and Sarah played well tonight,” said the HLGU coach.
Setter Claire Maupin handed out 15 assists for HLGU (2-6), while Hannah Killian led with 16 digs.
Next up for HLGU is a pair of matches in Lincoln, Ill., on Saturday.