Bandon’s volleyball team has been battling injuries the past week, which in part led to a trio of tough losses, capped by a home loss to Myrtle Point on Tuesday night to finish the first round of the Sunset Conference season at 3-3, needing a strong second half to rally for second place and a spot in the Class 2A playoffs.
To get there, they will need to learn from their worst loss of the season, a 25-11, 25-8, 25-23 setback at home against league-leading Coquille last week, and the four-set defeat to the Bobcats, 25-22, 25-22, 10-25, 25-11.
“We need to work on playing as a team,” Bandon’s Kennedy Turner said following the match against Coquille.
The Tigers had players out of position last week when setter Bella Erenfeld was out with a finger injury. She was back for the Coquille match, but Ashley Strain, who had taken her place, is out after jaw surgery and will miss a few weeks.
But that doesn’t completely excuse the team’s struggles, coach Mariah Vierck said.
“I have seven players out there and no team unity and no leader,” she said. “They are all complacent in a back-seat role.”
The coach would love to see a player step up and take the lead in encouraging the others, but also helping hold them accountable.
Until then, Bandon will remain a wildly inconsistent team, Vierck said.
The Tigers played great in the third set against the Red Devils, but struggled terribly in their passing and serve receive the first two, which were runaway wins for the Red Devils.
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“We were out of system the entire first two sets,” Vierck said, adding that Coquille went on runs that were typical of Bandon’s struggles. “The problem is, if we give up two points, we give up 10.”
The third set was how the Tigers should be playing, Turner said.
“We had a fight in us,” she said. “That’s what we should be.”
Turner had nine kills and a stuff block in the loss. Erenfeld had 14 assists and seven digs, Traylyn Arana had seven digs and four kills, Kylie Lakey had six digs and two kills and Carlee Freitag had six digs and three aces. Baylee George added three kills.
The Tigers showed signs of good play against the Bobcats, building big leads in the first two sets before Myrtle Point rallied, and then dominating the third set.
“We couldn’t keep any momentum, and have players playing as individuals instead of team players,” Vierck said, echoing her thoughts from last week.
Turner had 13 kills, Arana added nine and Erenfeld had 28 assists.
The Tigers start the second round of league play at home Thursday against Gold Beach and then head to Creswell for a big tournament Saturday before visiting Toledo in a big league match next Wednesday, their only league contest next week.