After opening the conference season with a decisive win, the Lady Patriot Volleyball Team has found the Heartland Conference to be anything but home sweet home.
Battling injuries and inexperience, DBU hung with the top seeded team in the conference in Game 1 until a service error at 7-7. From there, Arkansas-Fort Smith scored seven straight points before Kristin Secord tried to rally the Lady Patriots with two gym-rattling kills within a three point span. It was not enough, though, as the Lady Lions held on for a 25-17 win.
Game 2 saw the Lady Patriots allow seven straight points before scoring and they were only able to score seven points themselves before UAFS reached game point.
The Lady Patriots tried to feed off the energy of a large DBU crowd to start Game 3 and rallied to a 3-0 lead. Fort Smith answered though with three straight points of their own and the game was back-and-forth until 12-12. From there, UAFS never trailed and the Lady Patriots dropped the game and the match, 25-20.
In all, the match took a little over an hour to complete – but Head Coach Cathy Ray Kokel was able to take away some positives. “We got beat by a good team. When you are playing good volleyball teams you can’t afford to play sloppy. We did some of that, made some errors, and they took advantage. But we got some freshmen in the game and they got to experience volleyball in the Heartland Conference. There aren’t many easy games in this conference and they’ll learn. They’ll catch up to the speed of the game and that will help us in the long run.”
The Lady Patriots continue conference play Saturday, September 24, as they take on Newman University at home at 12:00 pm.