Errors, errors, errors: they’re a kiss of death for your chances to win a match. Unfortunately for the Huskies, it was an ever present problem in their match against MSU Moorhead last Friday, and really the entire season to this point.
Coming into the match, the Huskies were a less than desirable 5-6 on the year (1-2 in NSIC), while the Dragons boasted a 9-2 overall record. Despite the Dragons’ clear advantage on paper, the Huskies pushed them to the limit in the first set before falling 26-24. This occurred in spite of St. Cloud State stumbling their way into a .022 hitting percentage and racking up 12 attacking errors.
On the bright side, the Huskies did better in set two. They cut their attacking errors in half from 12 to six, and their attack percentage rose from .022 to .125. However, the Dragons committed only one attack error in the second set and saw their attack percentage rise from .100 to .448.
Minnesota Moorhead finished strong, ending on an 8-0 run to clinch the 25-13 set victory. The Huskies committed a total of six errors in the set.
The Huskies went up early in set three, taking a quick 5-1 lead out of the gate. The Dragons would come back to tie it at 9 apiece, and the teams would continue to trade off points until the score was tied at 13 all.
The Huskies took a narrow 16-14 edge before the Dragons scored back-to-back points to tie it up again at 16-16. The teams would again trade points until the score was tied at 19. Finally, the Dragons would take a 22-19 lead before capturing the match by the third set final of 27-25.
In the third set, the Huskies committed seven more hitting errors, including a match-ending error from Rachel Burke.
“Well, were you in our huddle at the end of the match? Because that’s exactly what I said to them. I said when we are a low-error team, we can compete with some of the best teams in the conference,” said head coach Chad Braegelmann, during the KVSC post-game show. “When we’re low error we’re good, but when we’re having a lot of hitting errors, we’re going to struggle. I thought we played pretty good defense in that first and third set. We got them out of system a little bit. [Kaitlin] VanWinkle has been hitting almost .400 on the season and we held her to a .130 hitting percentage, but then Masloski teed off on us. It’s been that way throughout the whole season. We hold down one or two kids, and usually it’s the kids we plan to hold down, but then the other kids kind of go nuts on us. So, yeah, you hit the nail on the head, we had 35 kills, they had 40, but we had 25 hitting errors.”
The Huskies return to action Friday to face Minot State at Halenbeck Hall. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Huskies are now riding a four match, and 12 set, losing streak. If they want to have any hope of moving to 2-0 at home, let’s hope they keep the errors to a minimum.