There was plenty of positive takeaway for the Vandalia volleyball squad after it finished third in its own tournament on Saturday by defeating Greenville for the second time in four days.
The Vandals rallied from a nine-point deficit to win the second set against eventual tournament champion Carlyle.
Vandalia allowed Greenville to score just two points on its own serves in downing the Comets 25-11 to win the third-place game.
Every starter drew praise from coach Allison Brown after the tournament.
But at the end of the afternoon, Brown said her team sold itself short when it lost to Carlyle in the final game of match play.
“Today, I thought we should have been playing in the championship game,” Brown said. “I think we sold ourselves short in the Carlyle game defensively, and offensively, I didn’t think we played the ball really well.”
The Vandals did, however, rally from a nine-point deficit to defeat Carlyle 25-22 in the second set after dropping the first set 25-12.
Vandalia scored eight of the final nine points, leaning on serves from Whitney Schaal to push them ahead.
“I know we came back in the second game, and that showed the fight that we have in us, as far as being able to come back,” Brown said. “They were down nine points at one time, but in order to put together championships, we have to start putting together the little things every day.”
Austyn Krueger was also a bright spot for the Vandals against Carlyle – especially in the second set – turning in what Brown termed “a heck of a game” and her “best game of the year.”
But because the Vandals were not able to find a rhythm in their first two games, the change of tempo against Carlyle caught up to them as they dropped the third set 15-8.
“It was hard to get any momentum going the first two games we played,” Brown said. “You come out with Carlyle, who has some strong hitters, and trying to come out and adjust is hard.”
The Vandals beat Brownstown (25-11, 25-9) and Lebanon (25-15, 25-18) in its first two games.
Against Greenville, Haley Wollerman gave the Vandals an early lead in the first set, serving three aces during a stretch of eight consecutive serves, after which Vandalia led 11-6. She later served the final three points of the 25-18 Vandalia victory.
The Vandals started strong in the second, pushing their lead as far as 11-3 before Greenville scored on its own serve.
That defensive stand would continue, as Vandalia cruised to an easy 25-11 victory to take the match
“We know that we can play defense, but we have to do it all the time,” Brown said.