HANNIBAL — Hannibal was on a roll, winning five straight games heading into Thursday’s match against Rock Bridge at Korf Gymnasium.
Unfortunately, Hannibal was unable to keep the momentum going as the Lady Pirates fell to Rock Bridge in three straight sets (25-9, 25-16, 25-20).
“Rock Bridge is a really great team,” said Hannibal head coach Megan Phillips. “They have really great hitters, obviously their setter Ella (Swindle) is great. Their serves tonight were really tough and that’s kind of what got us. Our passes were not were they needed to be, so we couldn’t run a serve-receive offense on our side.”
The Lady Pirates scored the first point in the first set, but it soon went downhill for Hannibal.
Hannibal was down 10-3 when Phillips called a timeout to regroup. Hannibal then scored the next point, but then Rock Bridge went on a nine-point run to put the first set out of reach and won 25-9.
“In the first set, we could not get touches on blocks to help with our defense,” Phillips said. “So we started really slow in that first set and just kind of building back from that, we lost momentum.”
Hannibal started the second set 3-0. Before long, Rock Bridge would have the lead on its to a 25-16 win in the second set.
The third set was the closest one between the two schools. Hannibal held a 8-7 lead at one point, but Rock Bridge then took the lead and kept it to a 25-20 win to secure the match.
“There were a lot of nerves in that first set just kind of coming out against a powerhouse team like that,” Phillips said. “Just talking in the huddle about what we needed to do on our side of the floor to clean it up. We started fixing our blocks in that second set for sure. Then our passes started getting there and they were even better in that third set.”
One thing Hannibal struggled with throughout the game was the serving from Rock Bridge.
“Those hard serves like that on serve-receive is just (tough),” Phillips said. “Unless you are observing the ball and pushing it right to our setter, it’s hard to run an offense when the passes aren’t where they need to be.”
Hannibal senior Bella Falconer tied for the team-lead with five kills, had three digs and a block.
Lady Pirates junior Kate Maune had five kills, a team-high 11 digs and a block.
Hannibal sophomore Courtney Locke had four kills and a block. Senior Kendel Locke had three kills and two blocks.
Lady Pirates junior Nora Hark had eight set assists and six digs. Ashlyn Hess had a team-high nine set assists.
The Hannibal junior varsity team fell in two sets (23-25, 23-25). The freshmen team also fell in two sets (13-25, 7-25).
Hannibal (11-6-4) will compete in the Quincy High School Volleyball Tournament on Saturday, which begins at 9 a.m. The Lady Pirates are slated to face Camp Point Central JV, Hartsburg-Emden and Jacksonville in pool play.
“I’m curious to see how they bounce back from (Thursday’s loss),” Phillips said. “Just seeing some different teams will be good for us. Especially with us preparing for the end of the (regular) season into the postseason.”