MURRAY — While walking onto their home court to play against the Marshall County Lady Marshals on Tuesday night, the Calloway County Lady Laker volleyball team whole-heartedly knew that they could end the night with another win, and they had every right to possess such confidence. They had just won their fourth-straight sweep on Monday and had a winning season record of 8-2.
That streak came to an end against Marshall County as the Lady Lakers were on the wrong end of a sweep.
The beginning of the first set was back and forth. Both teams were fired up and ready to go. The score was tied up at 5-5.
Sophomore hitter Adison Hicks said, “We really felt that we could win. We thought if we went out there, and we did our best, we could win, but once we got down on points off of a server, we just didn’t recover.”
After the Marshals rattled off three straight points, the head coach for the Lady Lakers Lindsey Jones called a timeout.
After taking a moment to regroup, the team was refreshed and looked ready to fight back.
Unfortunately, that’s when disaster struck the Lady Lakers.
Calloway’s only senior hitter Ellie Jackson jumped up for a hit but was unable to land back on her feet. Instead, she crumpled to the ground in agony.
Although the details of the injury are uncertain, one thing was for sure: Jackson was in no condition to continue the game. The Lady Lakers had to play without one of the main contributors to their team.
“She’s our only senior, and she really brings a lot of energy, and she keeps the momentum going,” Jones said. “I think we had to play some people who hadn’t played before this year. It just really hurt us.”
Worried about their teammate and being forced to put in less-experienced players caused the Lady Lakers to fall behind 22-8 in the first set.
Without the positive leadership from Jackson, the team lost all sense of communication and the set.
“We could have communicated a lot better,” Hicks said. “I think once we get down a couple points, we just end up getting flustered with each other and getting frustrated. I think that for future games we need to work on not getting mad or frustrated with each other because I think it just makes it worse. We need to call balls off and just talk to each other.”
The set ended 25-12. Even after the first game, the Lady Lakers continued to lose the mental battle.
For the first time this season, the Lady Lakers lost a match on their own home court. Marshall swept Calloway 3-0 (12-25, 17-25, 13-25).
After the game, Hicks expressed how essential Jackson is to the Lady Laker volleyball team but said the team should not have let the injury get to them so badly.
“She’s a big, big factor in our games. She puts the ball down, and she is so smart with her hits. Her not being with us really messed with us,” Hicks said. “In the future, we need to not let that mess with our game. We need to still move on and use our other players off the bench to help us.”
Technique wise, Calloway struggled with moving their feet.
“We needed to move our feet a lot better,” Hicks said. “Marshall, they can put the ball down. Once they get a good set and a good hit, they can really get a point off of it. We just needed to move our feet. They tipped some in the middle, and we just didn’t move to it. If we move our feet more, we can get a ball up and then put it back down to them.”
Jackson will be visiting a doctor today, but it is not looking as if she will be up for competing by Thursday. Therefore, the Lady Lakers will have to learn how to play without her before Community Christian comes to Jeffrey Gymnasium tomorrow night at 5 p.m.