Lady Hounds lose 3 of 4 to Grayhounds

FM girls can't find momentum after winning second set


FORT MADISON - Kelly Knustrom thinks her Fort Madison High School volleyball team is still working through the mental part of the game.
“Physically,” the Bloodhounds’ coach said, “I think we can do it. I think mentally they just let down.”
That was the case in Tuesday’s 25-17, 25-27, 25-10, 25-18 home loss to Burlington.
The Bloodhounds (0-9 overall, 0-2 Southeast Conference) fought to win the second game and appeared to have momentum, then Burlington (8-10, 1-1) quickly extinguished that with an 8-1 run to start the third game.
That left Fort Madison chasing the Grayhounds the rest of the night.
“Just a little letdown in Game 3,” Knustrom said. “I think, mentally, in Game 3 we were tired.”
The Bloodhounds fought off two game points in the second game, scoring the last three points. Elle Ruble’s kill on game point evened the match.
A timeout during that game helped Knustrom send a message.
“We did so well staying aggressive (in the second game),” she said. “We talked about how we don’t have to do anything different than what we’re doing. I think sometimes in tight situations, they think, ‘I’ve got to become a superstar. It’s all on me.’ And so in that timeout we took, I said we don’t have to do anything special. I thought we played within ourselves, did a good job.”
But the Grayhounds dominated the third game behind Ayla Cannon, who had four kills and two blocks.
Fort Madison raced to a 10-4 lead to start the fourth game, then Burlington scored 10 of the next 12 points to take the lead. The Bloodhounds got to within 19-17 before the Grayhounds closed out the match.
Knustrom liked how her team stuck to the game plan of attacking the Grayhounds, hitting along the sidelines.
“(The shots) didn’t always go in our favor,” she said. “It’s a tough go. They hit so many balls out along the sideline, but they stayed true to what we were trying to do. I give them credit for that, because some teams would have said, ‘That’s not going to work, so we’re going to go back to what’s comfortable,’ and that’s not going to work either.
“I think we’re moving in the right direction. We couldn’t physically put the ball on the lines tonight. I think when that happens, it will be good for us.”
Taylor Johnson led Fort Madison with seven kills. Ajia Jenkins had six kills, and Ruble had five. Ruble had 23 digs, while Amy Yasenchok had 17 digs.

Fort Madison High School, Bloodhounds, volleyball, Burlington, Grayhounds, sports, pen City Current


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