PRATT, Kans.- Following a heart-wrenching stretch of matches that included home losses to Hutchinson (2-3) and Colby (0-3), the Beavers, so consistently battling to claim sets, finally saw rallies swing in their favor on Monday night.
A 3-0 win over Dodge City was not only Pratt's first home win of 2019, but a deep breath and exhale for Coach Rambo and his team.
"We got the monkey off our back," Rambo said. "We had been playing so well for a while but we weren't getting the victories that we had worked so hard towards. It was nice to be able to pick up a victory when we maybe didn't play our best and still pick up the 'W'."
Freshman Morgan Schrag led the Beavers in kills and attempts with seven and 18 respectively, hitting .389 with no errors to her credit. Over the past couple of weeks, Schrag has done everything she can to force her way into the Beavers regular rotation. Or perhaps not.
"There's no forcing my hand, I want to play her," Rambo said. "The last two games we've played, she's been the identifier. She's the one being called out across the net, she's the one all the focus is on."
Playing another three sets in yesterday's win, Jaylen Hogue recorded four kills in seven attempts, adding a dig, service ace, and an assisted block to her stat line. She's also seen her minutes rise since joining the Beavers earlier this month.
"She's just a freak athlete" Rambo said. "I was a little reluctant to give her a tryout because we had a full roster. But after the first two balls, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. She was 30 practices behind everyone else so I knew we were going to have to ease her into some things."
Rambo, while noting how a win such as yesterday's can revitalize a team after an extended losing streak, did mention that his girls are still working towards cleaning up untidy areas in their play.
"In the first set, we were responsible for Dodge's first nine points," Rambo said. "Missed serves, hitting into the net, not serve-receiving well, they did a good job of keeping us off balance with their serves. But we didn't come out fired up."
Still, the Beavers did plenty well enough create distance on the scoreboard over the Conquistadors, winning all three sets 25-21, 25-13, and 25-22. Rambo could see his squad basking in the winning sensation.
"There was definitely a sigh of a relief," Rambo said. "That's a what [a win] is like, that's what it feels like, let's do that a couple more times. Looking at our schedule going forward, we're going to be in every single game over the next 8-10 games. We should be able to compete with everybody and give ourselves an opportunity to win a lot of those games."
The Beavers play Sterling College JV in Sterling, KS later today at 5:00 pm CT. The live stream will be available here.