PRATT, Kans.-A back and forth affair quickly turned in favor of the Pirates, as Independence departed Pratt with a 3-1 win.
With the Beavers and Pirates splitting the first two sets, it appeared the Beaver Dome audience would be starting its Labor Day weekiend with a jolt. However, the Pirates took advantage of Beaver mistakes, sweeping the final two sets 16-25 and 15-25. Coach Rambo said the Beavers offered too many chances for the Pirates to take advantage.
"We weren't nearly as offensive as we should have been," Rambo said. "Indy didn't make a whole lot of mistakes, and we couldn't capitalize when they did. That's how volleyball goes."
A young Beavers roster is still working out the kinks, flashing moments of encouragement. Rambo walked away impreesed with a number of his freshmen, including hitter Morgan Schrag.
"She played great," Rambo said. "She doesn't have a consistent role yet and she'll come in depending on which outside is struggling. But she comes in and does a very good job.
"Mariah Hillman had seven kills and only one error. She hit .380 and did a very good job with the kills."
Defensively, Kylie Fletcher, Haylee Parker and Kierra McGuire each mixed in 15 digs, as Rambo was very complimentary of his back row. However, not transitioning defense into offense will give Rambo a chance to highlight specific areas of improvement.
"We have to stay behind the ball better," he said. "With a young group, they get very antsy and they overrun the ball. A lot of times when they overrun the ball they get the ball behind their head and they swing deep, making those deep errors. We have to make sure to slow that down a little bit and keep the ball in front of them so they can get more consistent swings."
Rambo also relayed that a group learning the ins and outs of high-level volleyball is still adjusting to its finer points.
"We aren't putting ourselves in position," Rambo said. "We're making it very, very easy to close a block on us because we're out of system so often. We have to play a little bit smarter and more disciplined."
The Beavers will again hit the road for an extended weekend in Texas, as Rambo and his girls will participate in the DAC Fall Classic in Irving on September 6-7, with the schedule including matches against in-state junior colleges Blinn College, North Lake College, Cedar Valley College, and Mountain View College.