When 4A Slope No. 3-ranked Palisade stormed the Tiger home court Thursday, the girls' volleyball team didn't let them off easy.
"We took a game off them," head coach Liz Hughes-Waddick said. "It was really fun. I'm a little upset we didn't beat them."
Summit, ranked last in the league as of Thursday night, lost its first set, 25-16; won the second, 25-13; and lost the last two, 25-17 and 25-19.
Play was as good as the intensity, the coach said.
"It was fun for them to start to become the team I was hoping they'd be last week," Hughes-Waddick said, though she admitted her players are giving up critical parts of the game.
Like getting the ball back and maintaining momentum.
"We can't miss a serve when we worked hard to get the ball back," she said. "That is like an Achilles heel."
Allowing their opponents to establish a run on them is another Tiger weakness.
"There's nothing we can do except get ourselves out of that situation," Hughes-Waddick said. It usually happens right around the middle of the set, when the Lady Tigers have come out strong and are holding the opponents tight. One error follows the next, and before they know it, the opposing team has brought the score close to even again.
It happened Thursday night, when Summit had Palisade under 20 points. They allowed a run to 23 points, but in the end, pulled out the win.
It's like a lull in the midst of play. A lapse of focus. Are they getting scared?
Whatever it is, "They need to overcome it to be successful this year," Hughes-Waddick said. "They're good. They showed it last night."
The coach commended her players on their improved communication throughout the season. She wants them to continue to work toward positive thinking, and knowing that "everything they do is with the idea that they are in control of the game. They are playing defense all the time. It's switching to the mindset that you're so aware of the momentum that you understand you've got to keep it going."
Senior Anna Zangari played libero Thursday night and led the team with 14 digs. Hughes-Waddick would like to see more from the player who's returning from a bout with pneumonia. The team totaled 51 digs.
On offense, junior Kates Raymond led with 14 kills and just four errors, inching closer to her goal of minimizing errors. Behind her were Madi Webster and Lexy Zangari with 10 kills each.
Today, the team plays Delta at 1 p.m. at home. The opponent sits in second place in the conference.