MONROE — PCM volleyball coach Alex Samson is still trying to figure out the perfect lineup in her first season at her alma mater.
Samson changed to a 6-2 format during the Sept. 25 tournament at Roland-Story, and initial thoughts were positive in a win over South Hardin.
On Sept. 26, things didn’t go as well against Nevada during a three-set home loss to the Cubs.
Nevada won its 47th straight Heart of Iowa Conference match and improved to 4-0 in 2017 following a 25-10, 25-13, 25-10 win.
“I don’t think we were all there together tonight,” Samson said. “They are a good team, but we deserved more than we got tonight, and that’s really frustrating.
“We have been playing with a 6-2. I need a lot more height at the net. I thought we need three hitters at this point. The new set up worked well last night against South Hardin, but it never got on track tonight.”
The Mustangs struggled with their passing, didn’t serve that well and collected only 11 kills in three sets.
PCM fell behind 5-1 in the first set, trailed 7-1 early in the set two and went down 9-1 in the final set against the Cubs, who improved to 16-10 on the season.
“We had way too many over passes, and that eliminates our chance to attack,” Samson said. “It’s really hard to win when you can’t attack the net. We missed too many serves tonight, too.”
Samson hopes to turn her program into something Nevada already is. The Cubs’ offense is very fast, and the hitters are in the air before the set is passed. The Mustangs only see that type of volleyball a few times a season.
“It’s hard for us to get the block up and for our defense to get back,” Samson said.
“We didn’t have very good reaction time tonight. But we have seen it before with Roland-Story and Gilbert. So it’s not totally new to us.”
The Cubs had 28 kills, four blocks and served up 19 aces in the win. The rest of the points were made on errors by PCM.
The Mustangs missed five serves and struggled to pass the ball cleanly to teammates. Most of their attack shots were hit out of bounds or into the net.
“The passing wasn’t good, and our serve receive was off the last few matches, and I thought it was better tonight, but it still has to get better,” Samson said.
“We have to put everything on the court. You have to make them work for the points they get. We gave away too many points tonight.”
Junior Maddie Samson finished with five kills to lead the Mustang offense. Senior Kenzie Johnson tallied three kills. Senior Madison Foster and sophomore Shelby Voeller each had four assists and senior Olivia Lippman and Kinsey Phipps had 10 and six digs, respectively.
Samson and Foster each had three digs.
Nevada sophomore Kacie Rewerts came into the match ranked fifth in the HOIC with 137 kills. She finished with seven against PCM and tallied seven aces. Two other Cubs had seven kills each and another pitched in four.
Nevada also had 43 digs on the night. The Cubs did miss 13 serves.
The Mustangs (9-14 overall, 1-3 in the HOIC) got a week to work on getting better in practice. PCM hosted South Hamilton on Oct. 3.
Mustangs split two
STORY CITY -- The Mustangs defeated South Hardin and lost to Carlisle at the Roland-Story tournament on Sept. 25.
PCM defeated South Hardin 21-18, 21-11 and Carlisle defeated the Mustangs 21-16, 21-16.
The Mustangs had six aces against South Hardin. Johnson was 14-of-14 with two aces, and Samson was 12-of-14 with two aces.
Junior Avery Stock and Samson had 13 of the team’s 14 kills. Stock finished with a team-high seven kills, and Samson added six. Voeller had five assists, and Lippman tallied five digs and two aces.
Samson had 10 kills and three digs in the loss to Carlisle.
Senior Regan Olson tallied three kills, Foster delivered eight assists and Lippman tallied four digs.